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View all…An Italian father has reportedly written to Apple CEO Tim Cook, pleading for help to unlock his dead 13-year-old son’s iPhone 6 so that he can retrieve the photos stored on it.
“I cannot give up. Having lost my [son] Dama, I will fight to have the last two months of photos, thoughts and words which are held hostage in his phone,” Leonardo Fabbretti wrote in the March 21 letter, which was quoted Wednesday by Agence France Presse.
Although I share your philosophy in general, I think Apple should offer solutions for exceptional cases like mine,” he said.
Since iOS 8, Apple has said that it has engineered its phones such that the company cannot access data held on a phone without the passcode.
Apple recently refused to help the FBI disable the 10-passcode limit on the iPhone 5C that was used by San Bernardino terrorist Syed Rizwan Farook.
The incident is one of many that highlight the issues that can arise from strong security on a digital device.
Apple has argued that it cannot produce strong devices and software to keep out criminals, hackers, and other miscreants and yet also allow access to law enforcement or grieving family members.
According to the AFP, Fabbretti’s son Dama was diagnosed with bone cancer in 2013, and he passed away in September 2015.
Fabbretti, who according to Facebook lives in Istanbul, Turkey but is from Rome, did not immediately respond to Ars’ request for an interview.
In a February 2016 interview with the Italian newspaper La Repubblica (Google Translate), Fabbretti said that Dama had given his father access to the phone via TouchID fingerprint authentication, which was saved on the phone, but that wasn’t enough, as the phone was powered off when he found it. Newer iPhones running iOS 8 or later, including this one, require the full passcode after reboot.
Fabbretti said that he has contacted Apple tech support, which told him they were sorry for his plight but lamented that there was nothing they could do.
“I will continue the battle to recover my child’s iPhone data.
I will not give up,” he said in the interview. “He was also a minor.
I have the right to access to the phone.
There is in a bit of Dama’s life, and I do not want to be subtracted as well.
They told me that the only possible operation is to reset the device, but doing so would delete the data, destroying [the iPhone’s] contents… I understand privacy, but I wonder what if inside a disabled iPhone was the password to block the explosion of an atomic bomb planted by terrorists in Rome, then what do we do? Do we let it explode?”
Apple did not immediately respond to Ars’ request for comment.