Apple disabled and tracked looters who steal iPhones

Apple tracks looters who steal iPhones
Looting of Apple stores has led some to close temporarily. Source: Getty Images
2 Min Read

Daily US Times: iPhones stolen in lootings of Apple stores are disabled, tracked and the local authorities notified, according to messages displayed on their screens.

Following a series of attacks, Apple has temporarily closed some of its US stores. The United States has been facing a massive wave of protests over the death of George Floyd – an African American man – under police custody.

Several images of the warnings have been shared on social media, but Apple denied to make any comment of ”security matters”.

Whether the company has passed on the location of stolen devices to any police forces, is not clear yet.

It has long been rumoured that the devices on display in Apple stores have software installed so that they can be tracked if any are stolen.

Several social media pictures confirm this.

“Please return to Apple Walnut Street. This device has been disabled and is being tracked. Local authorities will be alerted,” one image of a device posted to Twitter showed the message.

The store in Philadelphia was among those attacked and looted.

Purchased devices do not have such software on them but they can be remotely locked by Apple if they are subsequently lost or stolen.

The tech giant had only recently started reopening stores following the easing of lockdowns around the country but a series of raids in Los Angeles, Washington DC, Philadelphia, New York and San Francisco has forced them to shut again.

Apple’s Chief executive Tim Cook has told employees in a memo that the killing of Mr Floyd, was “senseless” and has pledged to donate to human rights groups.

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