Government Officials Praise 'Activation Lock' Feature of iOS 7 Following Public Release

A pair of prosecutors, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón, have been pressing Apple for months over a rash of thefts of mobile devices, including iPhones and iPads. Gascón in particular had been pushing for a 'kill switch' that could permanently disable stolen iOS devices.

federighi_activation_lock
Today, Gascón and Schneiderman praised Apple's release of the Activation Lock feature in iOS 7, calling it the "world's first attempt to implement a technological solution to the global smartphone theft epidemic".

"After months of pressure from a global coalition of elected officials and law enforcement agencies, we are pleased that Apple is set to release a new mobile operating system that includes a theft deterrent feature called Activation Lock. This is an important first step towards ending the global epidemic of smartphone theft.

“In the months ahead, it is our hope that Activation Lock will prove to be an effective deterrent to theft, and that the widespread use of this new system will end the victimization of iPhone users, as thieves learn that the devices have no value on the secondary market. We are particularly pleased that – because Activation Lock is a feature associated with Apple's new operating system as opposed to a new device – it will be available to consumers with older phone models who download the free upgrade.

The release goes on to note that while Activation Lock is a "step forward", it is ultimately too early to tell if it will cut down on the so-called "Apple Picking" crimes.

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
87 months ago

"After months of pressure from a global coalition of elected officials and law enforcement agencies..."


Oh politicians! Yes, this feature was magically created after your grand standing... no one ever thought it was a good idea before that or started all work necessary to bring it to fruition.

Talk about ego and self-aggrandising!
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
87 months ago

What happens if you buy someone's old phone on CL and they report it stolen? Do you end up with a brick? How do you delete iTunes activation account all together?

Everything you need to know:

https://support.apple.com/kb/HT5818

How do I check for Activation Lock before purchasing a used device?

When purchasing an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch from someone other than Apple or an authorized Apple reseller, it is up to you to ensure that the device has been erased and is no longer linked to the previous owner’s account.

Follow each of these steps to make sure that you can use the device you purchase:

1. Turn the device on and slide to unlock.
If the passcode lock screen or the home screen appears, the device has not been erased. Ask the seller to completely erase the device by going to Settings > General > Reset > Erase All Content and Settings. Do not take ownership of any used iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch until it has been erased.

2. Begin the device setup process.
After choosing a language, choosing a country, and connecting to a network, the device will begin activation. If you are asked for the previous owner’s Apple ID and password, the device is still linked to their account. Hand the device back to the seller and ask them to enter their password. If the previous owner is not present, they can remove the device from their account by signing in to icloud.com/find. Do not take ownership of any used iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch until it has been removed from the previous owner’s account.
You will know that a device is ready for you to use when you are asked to “Set up your iPhone", “Set up your iPad", or “Set up your iPod” during the device setup process.

Gazelle also has some good instructions with screenshots:
http://www.gazelle.com/thehorn/2013/08/26/how-to-turn-off-activation-lock-in-ios7/
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
87 months ago
This is great step forward for security. Maybe thefts will be reduced.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
87 months ago
Apple rocks.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
87 months ago

It won't stop theft. Thieves will just use the phones for parts then.

Nobody said it would actually stop theft. But it may significantly hinder it.
Or at least it will give you the satisfaction that nobody can happily use your stolen phone.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
87 months ago

Stolen phones can still be re-formatted and hacked.


I don't think so. That is exactly what activation lock is designed to prevent.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

Leaker: Apple to Stick With Lightning Over USB-C for 'iPhone 12' Before Going Port-Less Next Year

Tuesday May 26, 2020 2:31 am PDT by
Apple will use a Lightning port instead of USB-C in the upcoming "iPhone 12," but it will be the last major series of Apple's flagship phones to do so, with models set to combine wireless charging and a port-less Smart Connector system for data transfer and syncing in the iPhone "13 series" next year. The above claim comes from occasional Apple leaker and Twitter user "Fudge" (@choco_bit),...

Apple Releases macOS Catalina 10.15.5 With Battery Health Management Features, Fix for Finder Freezing

Tuesday May 26, 2020 1:59 pm PDT by
Apple today released macOS Catalina 10.15.5, the fifth update to the macOS Catalina operating system that was released in October 2019. macOS Catalina 10.15.5 comes two months after the launch of macOS Catalina 10.15.4, which introduced Screen Time Communication Limits. macOS Catalina 10.15.5 is a free update that can be downloaded from the Mac App Store using the Update feature in the...

Apple Reissuing Numerous iOS App Updates, Potentially Related to Recent 'This App is No Longer Shared' Bug

Sunday May 24, 2020 9:13 pm PDT by
Over the past few hours, a number of MacRumors readers have reported seeing dozens or even hundreds of pending app updates showing in the App Store on their iOS devices, including for many apps that were already recently updated by the users. In many cases, the dates listed on these new app updates extend back as far as ten days. Apple has not shared any information as to why updates for...

16-Inch MacBook Pro, iPad Pro, and iMac Pro With Mini-LED Displays Again Rumored to Launch in 2021

Tuesday May 26, 2020 5:30 am PDT by
Apple plans to release several higher-end devices with Mini-LED displays in 2021, including a new 12.9-inch iPad Pro in the first quarter, a new 16-inch MacBook Pro in the second quarter, and a new 27-inch iMac in the second half of the year, according to Jeff Pu, an analyst at Chinese research firm GF Securities. This timeframe lines up with one shared by analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who recently...

Jailbreak Tool 'unc0ver' 5.0 Released With iOS 13.5 Compatibility

Sunday May 24, 2020 3:06 pm PDT by
The team behind the "unc0ver" jailbreaking tool for iOS has released version 5.0.0 of its software that claims to have the ability to jailbreak "every signed iOS version on every device" using a zero-day kernel vulnerability by Pwn20wnd, a renowned iOS hacker. The announcement comes just days after it was announced that the tool would soon launch. The unc0ver website highlights how the tool...

Future AirPods to Include 'Ambient Light Sensors' Possibly Related to Rumored Health Features

Monday May 25, 2020 2:53 am PDT by
Apple is reportedly looking to integrate light sensors in a new model of AirPods in the next couple of years, according to a new report today, suggesting their use could be part of rumored upcoming health monitoring features in the true wireless earbuds. In a paywalled article, DigiTimes reports that ASE Technology could be involved in manufacturing the sensors: Apple is expected to...

First App Using Apple and Google's Exposure Notification API Launches in Switzerland

Tuesday May 26, 2020 3:02 pm PDT by
The first app that takes advantage of the Exposure Notification API developed by Apple and Google has launched in Switzerland, according to a report from the BBC. A team of app developers working on contact tracing app called SwissCovid have rolled out the app in a beta capacity for members of the Swiss army, hospital workers, and civil servants. After the app is tested and approved by MPs,...

'This App is No Longer Shared' iOS Bug Preventing Some Apps From Opening

Friday May 22, 2020 3:58 pm PDT by
An app bug is causing some iOS users to be unable to open their apps, with affected iPhone and iPad users seeing the message "This app is no longer shared with you" when attempting to access an app. There are multiple complaints about the issue on the MacRumors forums and on Twitter from users who are running into problems. A MacRumors reader describes the issue:Is anyone else experiencing...

HBO Max Now Available on Apple TV and iOS Devices

Wednesday May 27, 2020 2:42 am PDT by
HBO Max launched today, and is now available on Apple TV, iPhone, and iPad. WarnerMedia's new streaming service, which replaces HBO Now, combines HBO content with shows and films from Warner Bros and Turner TV. The service is available as a native app on the ‌Apple TV‌ HD and ‌Apple TV‌ 4K, but second and third-generation ‌Apple TV‌ owners will need to AirPlay HBO Max content...

Apple's Pro Display XDR Wins 'Displays of the Year' Award

Tuesday May 26, 2020 7:45 am PDT by
The Society for Information Display today announced its selections for the 26th Annual Display Industry Awards, and Apple has once again taken one of the top spots, this time with its Pro Display XDR that debuted last year alongside the revamped Mac Pro. The Pro Display XDR was one of three display products named "Displays of the Year," alongside Samsung's foldable display and BOE's...