"You Are Being Tracked." Apple Give Warning to Looters With Stolen iPhones

June 4, 2020
Apple store looted

As people in The United States Protest concerning the death of George Floyd, who died while under arrest in Minneapolis on May 25, some have decided to take advantage and loot shops, which lead to another wave of arrests.

Apple, being one of the high-end retailers in the US, was attacked and looted, but now, action has taken to protect staff and prevent further damage. Tim Cook, Apple CEO sent a message to his employees as those protests escalated, saying that

“there is a pain deeply etched in the soul of our nation and in the hearts of millions. To stand together, we must stand up for one another, and recognize the fear, hurt, and outrage rightly provoked by the senseless killing of George Floyd and a much longer history of racism.”

He Went On to Say that Apple has a mission to to provide people with technology that helps them change the world.

“at Apple, our mission has and always will be to create technology that empowers people to change the world for the better. We’ve always drawn strength from our diversity, welcomed people from every walk of life to our stores around the world, and strived to build an Apple that is inclusive of everyone.”

Meanwhile, the tech giant decided to close most of its U.S. stores to ensure the safety of the staff and its customers. The tech giant has become a favored target of looters - which is no surprise - given the likely spoils on offer, they decided to remove stock from shop floors and shutter locations.

In Washington D.C., New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Philadelphia, Apple stores were attacked or damaged, with looters stealing whatever products were accessible at the time. But this is Apple we are talking about, there is drawback for anyone who stole a boxed iphone from one of those retail stores. It well known that Apple operates some form of proximity software that is used disable a device when it is taken illegally from a store. But Until now, that technology hasn't really been seen in action. Thanks to social media, we can now see the message that greets a looter powering up the new device:

“This device has been disabled and is being tracked,” it says. “Local authorities will be alerted.”

The chances that any of those devices get returned to stores as requested, is very unlikely but that isn't the point. Its likely they would be stripped for parts. Or more likely, they will be quickly dumped out of fears that there is some form of tracking in place. I mean, this is Apple we are talking about after all. Looting apart, the theft of high-end phones—with iPhones top of the list—has been an issue in major cities for years. Apple has taken step after step to try to render its devices worthless once taken, including the sticky “Find My” functionality that enables users to track down an iPhone. “If your device goes missing,” Apple says “put it in Lost Mode to lock it immediately and start tracking its location.”

As for people who actually lose their iPhones, Apple provides helpful tips as to what to do next. But for anyone considering stealing one from the stores, the advice is that you shouldn't. It will not work and may most likely lead to an unwelcome knock on the door.


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