Apple vs my daughter’s iPad: Part II

I just got off the phone with Apple, after speaking to a point person on the executive relations team. Isabella G offered to set me up with an escalated support member. I thanked her (and accepted) but said that my concern in this matter went wider than my specific case.

I explained that a no-reason account lockdown was a much broader and much more important issue to me. Our device was not stolen. My daughter did not enter bad passcodes or wrong passwords. There was no reason that the lockdown should have happened and no way for Apple Support to explain why it did  happen. If it could happen to us, it can happen to anyone and potentially at any time.

That my daughter had forgotten her security recovery information, too, led to a much broader issue. She was young, foolish, and feels sorry for her choices. At the very least, she should have changed her email when the provider shut down its services. But having an outdated email and no memory of security questions isn’t limited to her specific situation.

Consider the elderly or those who otherwise struggle with recall. They may be able to, as she was, know their passcode, account, and password but not be able to recall the specifics of the security questions or know where they had placed the documentation for the exact phrasing used when answering those questions the first time. They too may have clung to existing account names even if their email has changed over time.

The core problem isn’t that my child made regrettable decisions. She did. It’s that a lockout happened without explanation and without recourse. Something triggered the lockout. And, it clearly was something that fell outside the scope of where we, as customers, would want or accept that the lockout should occur.

I’d like to find out what that was, how Apple can prevent it from happening in the future and how they can offer remedies given the consequences of both losing information and device utility.

Update: Support call went nowhere but our support person was as usually thoroughly professional and nice. Other theories about what might have happened are “haven’t logged in for a long time, which could have activated the lockdown” (his) and “possibly the privacy act stuff this week bouncing back from a dead email” (mine).


  • Really glad to see you’re getting somewhere with this.

    It’s really unsettling to see people in this situation because if Apple closes that door in your face it’s pretty hard to get any form of meaningful engagement.

    My interactions with Apple are broadly very positive, but I have had two occasions where Apple just puts down the shutters.

    Good luck.

  • My Apple account dates from long before iCloud even existed. I’ve had several email address changes. But every now and then, the very first email shows up for authentication purposes. That email is no longer accessible, as the company running the server no longer exists and the domain is registered to some domain trading company.

    The other emails never show up. And that old one shouldn’t even be in iCloud as it expired before iCloud existed.

    This has happened on every version of OSX and iOS I ever used. Apple support’s answer is to upgrade the OS. Every time again. I get the impression that there simply isn’t anyone at Apple that understands the authentication system.

  • 1. I don’t remember the Security Questions answer either. One reason being I really don’t have a favourite sports team or what ever questions they fixed on me.

    2. They even forced me to choose a password that I had to now put it in my wallet because I cant remember it.

    All these security measures stated when iCloud Backup were stolen through social engineering and Hollywood stars’s data got stolen. As a temporary measures may be it was fine. But 4 years after It they still don’t have a solution just plainly shows they really don’t give a crap.

    And finally, did you paid for your iCloud? If so? doesn’t that shows it is your?

  • … a story from NSA…