Leonardo Fabbretti an Italian architect sent a letter to Apple CEO, Tim Cook to help him unlock his dead son’s iPhone so he could see the photos stored on it.
Fabbretti’s son Dama was adopted from Ethopia in 2007, died in September 2015 at the age of 13.
Dama had bone cancer.
Dama had given Fabbretti access to his iPhone 6 by registering his thumbprint on the phone’s Touch ID software. But Fabbretti says the phone restarted, preventing him from using Touch ID to log in. He doesn’t know his son’s passcode.
Fabbretti wants to get into the phone so he can see his son’s photos, notes and other messages that will help him remember Dama.
“Don’t deny me the memories of my son,” Fabbretti wrote in his letter to Cook. “I will fight to have the last two months of photos, thoughts and words which are held hostage in his phone.”
The company has touted its privacy and security measures in its advertising. It even declined to assist the FBI in its attempt to get into San Bernardino shooter Syed Farook’s iPhone 5C (the FBI eventually was able to break into that phone, which was older and potentially more hackable than Dama’s iPhone 6).
However, Cellebrite, an Israeli forensics company that might have helped the FBI crack open Farook’s phone, has offered to help Fabbretti break into the phone for free, according to the AFP. If it’s unsuccessful, Dama’s memories stored on his iPhone could be lost forever.
Fabbretti says Apple should think about the collateral damage its new policy has caused.