Father asks Apple head Tim Cook to unblock dead son’s iPhone

A grieving father in Italy has written to Apple’s chief executive, Tim Cook, to beg him to unblock his dead son’s iPhone so he can retrieve the photographs stored on it.

If the US tech giant fails, he said he would turn to the Israeli mobile forensics firm that reportedly helped the FBI crack the iPhone used by gunman Syed Farook in the San Bernardino attack in December.

“Don’t deny me the memories of my son,” architect Leonardo Fabbretti wrote.

Fabbretti’s son, Dama, who was adopted from Ethiopia in 2007, was diagnosed with bone cancer in 2013 after a skiing accident and died in September aged 13 after a series of operations and chemotherapy sessions failed to cure him.

“I cannot give up. Having lost my Dama, I will fight to have the last two months of photos, thoughts and words which are held hostage in his phone,” he said in the letter, sent on 21 March.

“I think what’s happened should make you think about the privacy policy adopted by your company. Although I share your philosophy in general, I think Apple should offer solutions for exceptional cases like mine.”

Fabbretti said he had given his son an iPhone 6 nearly nine months before his death, which he used all the time. “He wanted me to have access, he added my fingerprint ID,” he told AFP. “Unfortunately, it doesn’t work if the phone is turned off and on again.”

The father, who lives near Perugia in central Italy, said the mobile forensics firm Cellebrite, which has claimed it can crack Apple devices, had offered to try to open Dama’s phone free of charge.

Fabbretti said that if Apple failed to help him retrieve the photographs from the phone, he urged it instead to make a charitable donation in Ethiopia or set up a grant for researchers looking into the issues surrounding privacy.

comments powered by Disqus