the family’s request.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac
A family whose deceased 18-year-old son left his last wishes on
his personal iPad have criticized Apple for not unlocking the
device for them.
Liam Wright from the U.K. died of bone cancer in December. He
reportedly recorded his last wishes on his iPad because he
found it too difficult to have the conversation with his
However, when he passed away, his family were unable to gain
access to his iPad, and therefore had to have his funeral
service without knowing that he had wanted.
According to Liam’s sister Kerry Lamb, they tried to gain
access to the locked iPad, but “hit a brick wall” with Apple,
who she says is being “ridiculous” by not helping them access
the tablet. When pressed, Apple said it wouldn’t unlock the
iPad unless it had a death certificate and solicitor’s letter.
When these were sent, the company then claimed the family had
not sent the correct information, and now wants a court order.
In addition to notes about his wishes after death, Liam Wright
reportedly had numerous videos and photos stored on his Apple
device, which the family would like to access.
An ethical dilemma
As undoubtedly sad as it is for the family, it’s another
example of a tough ethical dilemma for Apple to navigate with
strong pro-privacy stance. It’s not the first time
that Apple has faced a similar quandary.
Last year, a father wrote to Tim Cook, begging him to
unlock his dead 13-year-old son’s iPhone so that he could
retrieve photos stored on it.
In that case, Apple’s technical staff expressed sympathy, but
said there was nothing they were able to do.
While you can argue about whether Apple should try and do more
to unlock devices, it’s yet another reminder of the importance
of making arrangements for how your family will be able to
access your devices, various online accounts, etc. in the event
that you were to pass away.
Let’s hope this case can somehow be solved to everyone’s