Carol Anne Noble of Toronto wants access to an Apple account she and her husband shared — but was under his name — so she can fulfil a promise she made to him before he died.
But instead of giving her the password she’s forgotten, the tech giant is demanding she jump through complicated and expensive legal hoops to satisfy what experts say is an outdated American law.
Noble’s husband, Don, spent the last few months of his life remembering and writing down his story battling a rare spinal cancer. Don would write his notes and story within the Notes app on his Apple device which would then get synced with iCloud. Before Don passed away he told Noble “You will have to write the book,” using the notes he had taken.
However, Noble doesn’t have his account password, preventing her from accessing those notes. Noble contacted Apple in 2017 providing all the required paperwork including proof that Don before his passing designated Noble as the owner of his property. Apple responded to Noble’s request and paperwork by saying it isn’t good enough, asking her to get a proper court order that costs upwards of thousands of dollars.
After getting fed up with Apple, Noble hired a lawyer who told CBC, “It’s a tricky situation,” “Digital assets are one of those things where it’s being governed by a privately held corporation… it’s not like a bank account where we can go in and say, here’s a death certificate, here’s a probate document and get access.”
After facing Noble’s lawyer and growing pressure to show more transparency in instances like this, Apple responded providing more information on what exactly the court order needs to hear. In regards to the cost of the court order, Noble’s lawyer, Dheeraj Sindhwani offered to do it for free.