Those attempting to make money through the resale of stolen iPhones appear to have misjudged the sophistication of Apple’s proximity software - which has been actively used by the tech giant since 2016 to prevent devices from being used if they’re swiped from a store.
Images circulating on social media claim that the stolen phones have activated a message instructing the users to return the phones.
“This device has been disabled and is being tracked. Local authorities will be alerted,” read the message.
APPLE DISABLED THE PHONES THAT WERE LOOTED pic.twitter.com/9xp1HhOAeR— mJ (@disposablefilms) May 31, 2020
Apple stores nationwide have recently been boarded up and fenced off amid riots and other criminality that have occurred alongside otherwise peaceful demonstrations honoring the memory of Minnesota man George Floyd, who was killed while in police custody.
Despite the company’s swift efforts to scale back reopenings associated with pandemic recovery efforts, some stores - such as one in Portland, Oregon - were gutted before Apple had a chance to secure them.
Apple store in Portland being looted during protest pic.twitter.com/GqmGCOqRkt— Zane Sparling (@PDXzane) May 30, 2020
Apple has yet to confirm the use of the tracking software, but company CEO Tim Cook has recently delivered a message to employees regarding the ongoing peaceful demonstrations across the country.
“We have to reexamine our own views and actions in light of a pain that is deeply felt but too often ignored,” Cook said, as reported by Bloomberg. “George Floyd’s death is shocking and tragic proof that we must aim far higher than a ‘normal’ future, and build one that lives up to the highest ideals of equality and justice.”