Apple tracks looters who steal iPhones
IPhones stolen in the looting of Apple stores in the United States are monitored, disabled and local authorities informed, based on the messages displayed on their screens.
Apple has temporarily closed some of its U.S. stores following a series of attacks amid protests over the death of George Floyd.
Several images of the alerts were shared on social media.
Apple said it did not comment on “security issues”.
It is unclear whether the company passed on the location of the stolen devices to the police force.
It has been rumored for some time that software has been installed on devices on display in Apple stores so that they can be traced in the event of theft.
The images on social media confirm this. An image of a device posted on Twitter showed the message: “Please go back to Apple Walnut Street. This device has been disabled and is being monitored. Blocked authorities will be notified.”
The Philadelphia store was among those attacked and looted.
The devices purchased do not have this software, but can be blocked remotely by Apple if they are subsequently stolen or lost.
The company had recently started to reopen stores following slackening across the country, but a raid on Washington DC, Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York and Philadelphia forced them to close again.
CEO Tim Cook told employees in a memo that the murder of Mr. Floyd, a black man killed by a white police officer, was “senseless” and pledged to donate to human rights groups.