After the funeral, her sons realised that Mrs Grant had failed to tell her sons her unique Apple ID password. “Funnily enough, I think she had bigger things to worry about,” Mr Grant blogged.

The brothers attempted to restore the factory settings on the device, but were told by Apple that they would need “written permission from Mum”.

After they re-iterated to the US tech giant that their mother was dead, Apple asked for a copy of her death certificate, will and a letter from their solicitor.

Then Apple made even more demands, asking the family to provide a court order to unlock their mother’s tablet, invoking the Electronic Communications Privacy Act.

[...] The Grants’ experience draws attention to the growing issue around “digital legacies”: what to do with content stored on electronic devices after the death of the owner.

The insurance firm Saga suggests clients make a list of websites they have signed up to and passwords within their wills to avoid confusion.

In February, Apple updated its iCloud Free Account terms and conditions which now warn: “You agree that your Account is non-transferable and that any rights to your Apple ID or Content within your Account terminate upon your death.”

« Digital legacy »

A quote saved on March 16, 2014.


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