Apple Denies Password To 72-Year-Old Widow, Demands A Court Order

Despite providing a will and a notarized death certificate, a 72-year-old widow was told by Apple Inc. she needed a court order to retrieve her dead husband's password.

Apple may have just gone too far when they asked a 72-year-old widow to get a court order for her deceased husband’s Apple ID password.

Peggy Bush needed the password because her digital card game stopped working; she couldn’t very well ask her husband because he had passed away from cancer. As his spouse, she didn’t think retrieving the password from Apple would be difficult, but she thought wrong.

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"I thought it was ridiculous. I could get the pensions, I could get benefits, I could get all kinds of things from the federal government and the other government. But from Apple, I couldn't even get a silly password. It's nonsense," she reportedly told Go Public.

The couple shared an iPad and an Apple computer. Bush said she knew the log-in code but not the Apple ID.

"I just had the iPad. I didn't touch his computer, it was too confusing to me … I didn't realize he had a specific password I should have known about … it just never crossed my mind," she said.

Donna, Bush’s daughter, initially made the call to Apple to retrieve the password and was told she and her mom would need to provide a will and a death certificate, but when they called back to provide the requested information, customer service claimed they had never heard of her.

After giving Apple serial numbers for the devices, a will that left everything to Peggy Bush, a notarized death certificate and two months of back-and-forth communication, Donna claims she was eventually told none of that was enough and she needed a court order for them to give her and her mother the password.

"I then wrote a letter to Tim Cook, the head of Apple, saying this is ridiculous. All I want to do is download a card game for my mother on the iPad. I don't want to have to go to court to do that, and I finally got a call from customer relations who confirmed, yes, that is their policy."

Is this comforting or utterly absurd? 

Should we rejoice in the fact that Apple has such strict policies that no crazy people or scorned lovers can hack into our accounts? 

Or should we be disturbed that a widowed senior citizen was denied access to her husband's password despite the fact she had clear documented proof that even the federal government accepts?

This is an issue that undoubtedly affects very many people who have at least one Apple product in their home.  

It's baffling to think that the company would actually ask its valued customers to go through the hassle and potential financial burden to obtain a court order for a trivial password after they've lost a loved one. Why extend their suffering?

Apple needs a reality check, stat! 

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Banner and thumbnail credit: Reuters, Dado Ruvic

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