Previous 1 2 Next 16 Replies Latest reply: May 12, 2014 10:25 PM by Iphone amazing
Tintin19_02 Level 1 (0 points)

My girlfriend's iPhone was stolen whilst on holiday in London. The phone was in airplane mode and didn't appear on Find My IPhone, which was installed and enabled (all set tis correct other than airplane mode). I sent a remote passcode lock to the phone.

 

The next day the iPhone appeared on the map, obviously having been switched on and had airplane mode switched off. My question is, will the remote lock apply immediately the phone comes back online?

 

I assume their only opting at that point is to do a factory restore which would wipe all the data anyway, right?

 

Also, can't Apple track the IMEI number regardless of a restore and a new SIM? Or the network operator that the phone was originally connected to?

  • Carolyn Samit Level 10 (103,360 points)

    You can only restore from the computer the iPhone was originally synced with. Not possible to do a restore without the iPhone connected to your computer.

     

    Apple does not track stolen Apple products.

     

    Reporting a lost or stolen Apple product

  • wjosten Level 10 (94,210 points)

    Sorry about your loss.

     

    Tintin19_02 wrote:

    I assume their only opting at that point is to do a factory restore which would wipe all the data anyway, right?

     

    Yes, typically that is what is done.

     

     

    Tintin19_02 wrote:

    Also, can't Apple track the IMEI number regardless of a restore and a new SIM? Or the network operator that the phone was originally connected to?

     

    Apple does not track lost/stolen iPhones. Some carriers/providers will blacklist stolen/lost phones, so report the loss to your carrier. You should also immediately change passwords for email, WiFi, etc. basically any password ever entered on the phone. Treat this the same way you would if your wallet were stolen.

  • Michael Black Level 7 (20,382 points)

    If locked, yes, whomever has it can plug it into any computer and restore it as new.  That will complete wipe out your original data and settings, so your information is safe (ie. gone from the device) but whomever has the iPhone can then use it as they wish.

     

    If the iPhone comes up on the mobileme web map, and you have submitted a lock request, you should get a confirmation on the screen whenever the lock order gets executed (I think you should at least - never actually done it myself).

     

    The only way to track a phone by IMEI or via the carrier, would be by a court order telling the carrier to do so.  They won't do it on a personal request, or even by a police request unless accompanied by a court order to comply (at least in the USA that is pretty much the way it is).

  • wjosten Level 10 (94,210 points)

    Carolyn Samit wrote:

     

    You can only restore from the computer the iPhone was originally synced with. Not possible to do a restore without the iPhone connected to your computer.

     

    Carolyn, that is absolutely not true. Fact is, any iPhone can be restored as a new device in iTunes, whether passcode protected or not, on any computer.

  • Allan Sampson Level 10 (123,405 points)

    When the iPhone appeared on the map the next day, did you re-send the remote Passcode lock at that time?

     

    The iPhone can be restored with iTunes on another computer as a new iPhone, or the iPhone can be replaced into recovery mode to be restored as a new iPhone with iTunes on another computer.

     

    For future reference, the Passcode lock should be enabled at all times to prevent unauthorized access of the iPhone under any circumstances.

     

    The same as every other electronics company and/or cell phone manufacturer, Apple is not in the tracking lost or stolen computers, iPods, iPads, and iPhones business. Apple would when requested by law enforcement or a court order. If the carrier has a black list for lost or stolen phones, when reported to the carrier the iPhone's IMEI number will be added to the black list preventing someone else from activating the iPhone with that carrier. All bets are off with a carrier locked iPhone if the iPhone is hacked to be unofficially unlocked and used with another carrier.

  • Carolyn Samit Level 10 (103,360 points)

    So it doesn't matter if they use a different Apple ID?

  • wjosten Level 10 (94,210 points)

    No. A thief's only option is to restore as a new device, typically done immediately & then the phone pawned or sold quickly, unless the thief wants to keep for personal use-rare.

  • Carolyn Samit Level 10 (103,360 points)

    Sure would be nice if Apple could come up with a way to prevent that.

     

    Thank you for the correction. 

  • wjosten Level 10 (94,210 points)

    Apple could, easily, but they won't...like virtually every other company, they want no part of this do to privacy laws/concerns. Too much potential for abuse & the resulting law suits. Same reason most carriers won't blacklist lost/stolen phones.

  • Carolyn Samit Level 10 (103,360 points)

    Live and learn, again, thanks!

  • henryfromspring Level 1 (0 points)

    Yeah, but why? Why won't Apple track a customers product? Does it have to do with privacy issues, or money?

  • Allan Sampson Level 10 (123,405 points)

    Privacy and other issues that would be one big can of worms and why not one computer/electronics/cell phone manufacturer does the same.

  • gdgmacguy Level 7 (20,535 points)

    henryfromspring wrote:

     

    Yeah, but why? Why won't Apple track a customers product? Does it have to do with privacy issues, or money?

     

     

    Are you kidding me?  Did you see the firestorm of angry posts when it was made known that Apple could track cell phone users locations? 

  • braunmf Level 1 (0 points)

    This notion that is being floated around that Apple's hands are tied due to privacy and legal concerns doesn't impress me much at all. My iPad was stolen about a month ago. I have the receipt, the serial number (from my box), and the MAC address (from my home router's log). Armed with that information it's technologically feasible to track, deauthorize, and eventually recover my device. But for reasons I have been unable to ascertain Apple refuses to provide anything like this for their customers. And as their devices become increasingly smaller, more desirable, and more expensive theft of them will also increase.

     

    But to my point about legalities and privacy concerns: whether they are true or not, it certainly doesn't stop Barnes and Noble from blacklisting their Nooks when they are reported stolen. At least, that's what I found after buying a Nook color off craigslist. When I tried to register it online it refused. When I called in to customer support they informed me that it was a stolen device. If I wanted to remove the blacklist, they explained, simply provide the last 4 digits of the credit card, the name on the receipt, and the total dollar amount of the store along with store number where the device was purchased. If I lacked any of that information, I could simply contact the store and retreive it from their records. Since I was not the original owner, however, my option was to turn the device over to the police and hope they returned it to the rightful owner.

     

    When I explained this scenario to Apple Care he insisted the limitation was due to privacy concerns. That defies logic, however, when one considers that it's the original owner (and only through the poilce and Apple's legal department) who must report the device stolen. And, like B&N, it's the customer who is able to provide personal information to blacklist (as well as unblacklist) a device according to his or her own volition.

     

     

    I've been thinking a bit about this for some time...plenty of time to think on the couch sans iPad anway...and I've been wondering why in the world does Apple not allow users to deauthorize and blacklist iDevices through iTunes itself. At that point Apple has no involvement in the process and even the barest of legalities are irrelevant. My assumption is that Jobs has thought long and hard about these issues, including my described resolution, so it begs the question as to why Apple refuses to do anything about stolen devices. I hope one day I can ask him because that is a question I would like answered more than anything: what is the rationale for the hands-offs approach to this? I can't fathom one myself but I have to guess there is one. Apple hasn't come across to me as a callous company so I'm reluctant to attribute it to that.

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