Apple cannot be trusted - violation of Australian federal Data Protection/Electronic Crime Law

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ad...@reviews.wox.org

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Dec 3, 2019, 7:03:17 PM12/3/19
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Here is something you probably wont see in the news.

Considering it just happened to someone close to me who is now borderline suicidal as a result (pity lawyers are expensive..) thus as an emotive topic it may colour my opinions here.
TLDR; Do not use any Apple device for anything important with respect to photos or videos. They care nothing for your data integrity and will not hesitate to delete  it to punish you.

Under certain conditions (typically if you remove and bank or credit card payment details from your apple account because common sense) if you use Apple products connected to their icloud service - Apple can and will randomly delete photos and videos from your device and cloud storage.   Considering this violates Australian law with regard to unauthorised insertion/deletion/modification of data, they probably shouldn't be doing this.

Here are the conditions that led to it in this case -

  1. Device running low on storage (~ 1000 family photos and short videos going back years including the now deceased - sounds like a lot but most videos were under 4 seconds except 2 or 3)
  2. Enabled icloud to move them to cloud.
  3. Cloud advises you may need more storage, demands payment details.
  4. Payment details added
  5. cloud sync throws an error and appears to fail.
  6. end of month rolls around few weeks later, cloud still not working but we discover Apple bills them anyway, user rage ensues
  7. User annoyed that cloud backup didn't work, and getting charged for this crap removes payment details, and cancels the unused additional storage
  8. Cloud gives some unintelligible error and warning about removing payment detail (give us payment details or else basically)
  9. end of next month rolls around
  10. suddenly all the items that failed to be moved to cloud (which incidentally were still in the device, and had failed to sync leading to cancellation) start randomly deleting themselves, as daughter of owner is watching in horror, she was literally looking in an album she created, and the photos started disappearing as she watched. This was after a day with no wifi - so getting back online triggered this.
  11. Frantically checks recently deleted items folder, and logs into icloud website to check as well.   No sign of any of them anywhere, no explanation.  Just gone.
  12. nothing in icloud but a handful of entirely random images (~300) and videos (~60) maybe 2 gb tops.  Over 900 videos and 1000 photos vanish into thin air.  The items kept or removed seem to have no pattern and nothing in common, ranging from old to new stuff.

You can imagine the devastating effect this had on the morale of the ipad users.


As a computer repairer I have also seen another scenario -
If you are stupid enough to enable a pin security lock screen on your Apple device, but you don't use icloud at all, especially if your device was setup prior to icloud - and for whatever reason (accidental pocket button pressing, child playing with screen etc)  your pin is entered several times incorrectly you will be double screwed.

  1. The apple device will lock itself from having the pin entered again (often for absurd timeouts like a year or more, or forever) - this can apparently also cause the device to "burn/delete its data"  under the assumption the device has been stolen.   There is no way to recover the data in this scenario even if the device has an old enough IOS the memory hasn't been "burned" (in addition not upgrading the IOS will also punish you in several other ways I wont go into)  needless to say the data is now gone.
  2. As an additional F-U  if you don't remember the login details of the original itunes account used when the device was originally purchased (a very common scenario where people only used it as an actual phone, and sometimes a camera - like normal people would), OR if the account is so old is has been disabled(frequently happens if you didn't add payment details to itunes, and had no internet or net was disabled for a year or more), or none of the recovery info is current any more for whatever reason (phone numbers change, and ISPs care nothing for your old email addresses) - it will also not be possible to ever use the device again either, it will again revert to the assumption the device is stolen, and demand you connect it to an "authorised" pc running itunes, even if it has never been plugged into a PC.     Even then if you attempt a last resort "DFU" mode recovery it will fail, as you will be unable to progress past the "log into original icloud/itunes account to proceed"  screen once you factory restore it.      Sometimes if you had a really old IOS it will let you in, but any recent (~2 years) IOS will for all practical purposes brick you at the login screen.

<begin ranty venting>
Basically I feel only an idiot, terrorist, kiddie porn scumbag or an Apple fanboi who needs to hide their sick shit (at this point all the same thing IMO) should use an Apple device anymore.
</end ranty venting>


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Hayden Hughes

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Dec 3, 2019, 7:18:26 PM12/3/19
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It's very saddening to hear that has occurred and Apply should've been dealt with  the matter much better then just deleting user data but Apple is a private entity and they are entitled to do what ever they want to user data as long as it complies with their privacy policy.

Regards,
Hayden
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Zenaan Harkness

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Dec 3, 2019, 7:26:02 PM12/3/19
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Thank you for taking the time to write this up, appreciated.

Also, to all Crapple users, "You get what you firetrucking deserve."

As one might say, "dance with the devil, suffer the devil".

Everyone who supports, promotes, or otherwise tacitly consents to,
proprietary walled gardens such as Apple, Google, Microsoft etc, are
contributing to the evident and abundant compromise of our basic
human rights.

The Purism Librem 5 phone is slowly rolling out, and is the only
phone (or computer of any mainstream sort) today, which is designed
from the ground up to separate the (proprietary, closed) baseband cpu
from the user's primary cpu and RAM etc.:

https://puri.sm/products/librem-5/

Create your world,



On Wed, Dec 04, 2019 at 11:03:02AM +1100, ad...@reviews.wox.org wrote:
> Here is something you probably wont see in the news.
>
> Considering it just happened to someone close to me who is now borderline
> suicidal as a result (pity lawyers are expensive..) thus as an emotive topic
> it may colour my opinions here.
> TLDR; Do not use any Apple device for anything important with respect to
> photos or videos. They care nothing for your data integrity and will not
> hesitate to delete  it to punish you.
>
> Under certain conditions (typically if you remove and bank or credit card
> payment details from your apple account because common sense) if you use Apple
> products connected to their icloud service - Apple can and will randomly
> delete photos and videos from your device and cloud storage.   Considering
> this violates Australian law with regard to unauthorised
> insertion/deletion/modification of data, they probably shouldn't be doing
> this.
>
> Here are the conditions that led to it in this case -
>
> 1. Device running low on storage (~ 1000 family photos and
> short videos going back years including the now deceased
> - sounds like a lot but most videos were under 4 seconds
> except 2 or 3)
> 2. Enabled icloud to move them to cloud.
> 3. Cloud advises you may need more storage, demands payment
> details.
> 4. Payment details added
> 5. cloud sync throws an error and appears to fail.
> 6. end of month rolls around few weeks later, cloud still
> not working but we discover Apple bills them anyway,
> user rage ensues
> 7. User annoyed that cloud backup didn't work, and getting
> charged for this crap removes payment details, and
> cancels the unused additional storage
> 8. Cloud gives some unintelligible error and warning about
> removing payment detail (give us payment details or else
> basically)
> 9. end of next month rolls around
> 10. suddenly all the items that failed to be moved to cloud
> (which incidentally were still in the device, and had
> failed to sync leading to cancellation) start randomly
> deleting themselves, as daughter of owner is watching in
> horror, she was literally looking in an album she
> created, and the photos started disappearing as she
> watched. This was after a day with no wifi - so getting
> back online triggered this.
> 11. Frantically checks recently deleted items folder, and
> logs into icloud website to check as well.   No sign of
> any of them anywhere, no explanation.  Just gone.
> 12. nothing in icloud but a handful of entirely random
> images (~300) and videos (~60) maybe 2 gb tops.  Over
> 900 videos and 1000 photos vanish into thin air.  The
> items kept or removed seem to have no pattern and
> nothing in common, ranging from old to new stuff.
>
> You can imagine the devastating effect this had on the morale of the ipad
> users.
>
>
> As a computer repairer I have also seen another scenario -
> If you are stupid enough to enable a pin security lock screen on your Apple
> device, but you don't use icloud at all, especially if your device was setup
> prior to icloud - and for whatever reason (accidental pocket button pressing,
> child playing with screen etc)  your pin is entered several times incorrectly
> you will be double screwed.
>
> 1. The apple device will lock itself from having the pin
> entered again (often for absurd timeouts like a year or
> more, or forever) - this can apparently also cause the
> device to "burn/delete its data"  under the assumption
> the device has been stolen.   There is no way to recover
> the data in this scenario even if the device has an old
> enough IOS the memory hasn't been "burned" (in addition
> not upgrading the IOS will also punish you in several
> other ways I wont go into)  needless to say the data is
> now gone.
> 2. As an additional F-U  if you don't remember the login

Zenaan Harkness

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Dec 3, 2019, 7:50:42 PM12/3/19
to 2600-au...@googlegroups.com, CypherPunks
> > Here is something you probably wont see in the news.
> >
> > Considering it just happened to someone close to me who is now borderline
> > suicidal as a result (pity lawyers are expensive..) thus as an emotive topic
> > it may colour my opinions here.
> > TLDR; Do not use any Apple device for anything important with respect to
> > photos or videos. They care nothing for your data integrity and will not
> > hesitate to delete  it to punish you.


By the way, the fundamentals of a legal claim are actually very easy,
if a little time consuming - you need at core, only two documents:

1. An originating process - e.g. Statement of Claim, or e.g. the
Small Claims Tribunal (or whatever that is called in your state)
which costs only about $40, or may be a few hundred if you go to
the Magistrates' Court (State of Claim).

2. Your story. In Australia, this is called an affidavit.
Do NOT do just a Statement or Statutory Declaration - e.g. the
small claims forums often say "just do a statement or stat dec",
but that is insufficient on any appeal, so just do an Affidavit
straight away (i.e., properly witnessed).


That's it.

Apple is clearly at fault, and this particular claim is for three
primary claims:

1. Damages (i.e. financial) of lost time, any money spent trying to
recover the lost photos, and your filing fees, parking ticket
costs etc. Probably not much.

2. Damages for which damages are insufficient. This is the
emotional anxiety, children's loss etc.

3. Exemplary damages. This is the big one, and it means "Apple
knows better, they must suffer a relevant payment to you in
order to set an example to both Apple, and other players in the
industry, that their actions causing this damage, must have
consequences which the community sees (justice must be seen to
be done)."

So that's the three primary claims, and the grounds are very simple -

- Apple actively deleted files without consent and without notice
to the user.

- Apple has a duty of care to protect the documents, photos, and
videos of end users, and to not delete these without consent.

- Apple therefore failed in a fundamental duty of care to the
claimant.


With the above simple docs in place (including affidavit, not stat
dec, so you're ready for the supreme court), Apple will likely settle
out of court rather than make it go further (and turn into a big
public spectacle).

And by doing the paperwork yourself, you are not beholden to the
threat that you may lose and suffer literally tens of thousands of
dollars of legal fees.

Cerate your world,



DISCLAIMER:

I am not a lawyer, this is not legal advice, by law I'm probably
required to say to you that "you must seek legal advice in legal
matters," though if you DO represent yourself, you may experience
feelz of euphoria, liberation, freedom from lawfare tyranny and
other joyous feelz which leave you "over the moon" even if you did
happen to lose or settle for a small amount.

Iuris caveat emptor.

Zenaan Harkness

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Dec 3, 2019, 8:13:41 PM12/3/19
to 2600-au...@googlegroups.com, CypherPunks
> Cerate your world,

So this was of course s/Cerate/Create/, but on a little dict lookup,
"cerate" is sort of like ointment but a little thicker, so "cerate
your world" is sort of "apply some healing and soothing balm to your
world" :)

Sid E

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Dec 3, 2019, 10:43:00 PM12/3/19
to 2600-australia

An affidavit can't be used in a Magistrates Court, and I don't believe they hold much weight under a Tribunal (VCAT for example), if you are representing yourself, and VCAT doesn't allow you to be represented by a legal professional automatically, you have to apply to be allowed to.

There is some exceptions to this and considering its Apple they will be sending a full team of overpaid legal thugs to quickly stomp out anyone who dare slander the cult of scientology *cough* sorry Apple.

The rest of your legal advice seems pretty solid though, collect evidence and data.

Trust me, I work for the cyber police

Zenaan Harkness

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Dec 3, 2019, 11:10:05 PM12/3/19
to 2600-au...@googlegroups.com, CypherPunks
Thank you for those pointers.

Yes, VCAT/NCAT etc often have a "state clearly and briefly what
happened" section on their "application forms", usually also with a
suggestion to "attach an additional sheet if you can't fit it in this
box" type of thing.

My personal (IANAL) preference is to present my own matters, even in
the higher courts (I am in the Vic Supreme Court at the moment on the
"right to be heard in my own defence, when I am caused to appear in
court" basic human right).

As to your assertion that "An affidavit can't be used in a
Magistrates Court" - this is simply not true, and is IMEHO, an
egregious suggestion to those who might choose to self represent.

Many times I have filed affidavits into the Magistrates' Courts of
both Victoria and New South Wales, and on one occasion only (when I
believed it was in my interest to do so) did I file a Statement (self
signed, not even a statutory declaration).

Further, I have spoken personally with/ seen, acquaintances who began
with a court case in the Magistrates' Court, and proceed on some sort
of appeal into the Supreme Court, have to re-do their statement or
stat dec, and file it as an affidavit (the only form the Supreme
Court accepts).

I was even supporting a self represented VCAT defendant, who actually
filed an affidavit to lay out his version of events - VCAT accepted
that affidavit, and he relied on it during the hearing.

So if you have some authority to back up -why- it is that you say "An
affidavit can't be used in a Magistrates Court", then I would very
much appreciate a link or copy of the document, so that I can read
that authority (law, regulation, section or other document) which you
are referring to. Especially given that you say you "work for the
cyber police", any insight into such laws or regulations would likely
be useful for humble folks such as myself - so thank you in advance.
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Sid E

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Dec 4, 2019, 1:02:50 AM12/4/19
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Yeah last time I was in court my lawyer had evidence thrown out because it was a bunch of affidavits, my barrister objected to it all pre-hearing and the magistrate said it wasn't admissible as evidenced.

Witness statements against me etc the whole lot, all useless. They dropped the case on advice from the magistrate.

They refused legal help from the start of the case and went in without a lawyer, I hired a lawyer and barrister and smashed their case to bits before it made it to hearing.

Sid E

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Dec 4, 2019, 1:13:35 AM12/4/19
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Just because an affidavit can be used in an application doesn't mean it can be used within a hearing.

You can't question an affidavit, thus it allows a "witness" to deliberately leave things out and not give the other party a chance to either disprove it or add more to it during questioning

Therefore an affidavit can't be used as evidence whilst a case is actually being heard, the witness or party has to physically be there (or via video).

Zenaan Harkness

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Dec 4, 2019, 1:47:00 AM12/4/19
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Ah yes, I would agree that if you have an affidavit, and you do NOT
have the witness there to be cross examined on their affidavit, THEN
the affidavit will get thrown out at the hearing.

The solution to this is simple - ensure your witness (or you, if it
is your affidavit) actually turn up to the hearing of your own court
case.

That is an important fact about witnesses, and the same deal applies
in the higher courts - if your witness does not turn up, an affidavit
will not help, since the other side cannot cross examine the witness
about their affidavit, and so the affidavit gets thrown out...

That's a specific circumstance you should be prepared for.

Of course, if it is your own case, and your own affidavit, presumably
you are going to turn up to the hearing, and so the affidavit in this
case cannot be thrown out - but your opponent can of course ask to
cross examine you, and then you get into the witness stand and they
cross examine you.

If you are not confident in the facts of your own case, or if you are
not confident generally, and you can afford a barrister, it is almost
certain you'll get a better outcome by paying for a barrister and
lawyer. But that costs a lot of money.
> --

Sid E

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Dec 4, 2019, 3:05:49 AM12/4/19
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All the affidavits were dismissed, not just some, ALL, including 2 witnesses there at the time, and the person putting the case against me.

If I represented myself it would have been much more difficult to win even though ultimately i was innocent.

I spent hours and hours building a case with CCTV footage, sms screenshots and information about phone calls, a detailed log of events for almost a year...

And like you suggested I put it all together in a nicely orderly fashion to make it easy to present to a magistrate, save the lawyers time and save big $, unless you get paid like $400 an hour then just dump a pile of paperwork on them...

I'm wasnt trying to say you're completely wrong at all with your advice - I was just pointing out affidavits can't be used in the magistrates court, which is actually not that significant if you have witnesses on hand - so if OP (i know where you live) decides to go to court he's aware and ready with proper evidence, or particulars as they like to call it.

Also I don't really know where OP lives but I reckon I could backtrace it

Serge Bakharev

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Dec 4, 2019, 4:32:30 AM12/4/19
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I've seen something similar when you have two different cloud storage tools conflicting. The iCloud upload is a sync operation not a copy, and by that I mean if you delete a photo on your iPhone, it synchronises this deletion in iCloud. Similar to rsync --delete or robocopy /mir. That in itself causes problems, but what can make it even worse is if you have another cloud storage upload tool installed like Google Photos or Dropbox which has a "Free Up Space" feature which deletes older files off your device that have been uploaded to their service. This deletion is synchronised with iCloud etc. Worse still is that this can be triggered on devices you wouldn't expect like your desktop if you are syncing iCloud there... I've heard stories of sync applications getting into loops where one is downloading while another is deleting...

Here is a LifeHacker article from 2018 describing this specific issue: https://www.lifehacker.com.au/2018/07/why-did-icloud-delete-all-of-my-photos/




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Zenaan Harkness

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Dec 4, 2019, 4:56:30 AM12/4/19
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On Wed, Dec 04, 2019 at 07:05:47PM +1100, Sid E wrote:
> All the affidavits were dismissed, not just some, ALL, including 2
> witnesses there at the time, and the person putting the case against me.

I would like to know why they were dismissed - sometimes there's some
technicality, such as the other side failing to provide their
affidavits within allowed time frames, or some other technicality;
but "affidavits are not allowed in the Magistrates Court" is simply
not true, that's why I was hoping you might remember, or be able to
look up, how you got the other side's affidavits removed - could be
useful to me (and others) in the future :)


> If I represented myself it would have been much more difficult to win even
> though ultimately i was innocent.
>
> I spent hours and hours building a case with CCTV footage, sms screenshots
> and information about phone calls, a detailed log of events for almost a
> year...
>
> And like you suggested I put it all together in a nicely orderly fashion to
> make it easy to present to a magistrate, save the lawyers time and save big
> $, unless you get paid like $400 an hour then just dump a pile of paperwork
> on them...

Well done, sounds like your work paid off - in more ways than one.


> I'm wasnt trying to say you're completely wrong at all with your advice - I

Since IANAL, I can give no "legal advice", only my opinions =)


> was just pointing out affidavits can't be used in the magistrates court,
> which is actually not that significant if you have witnesses on hand - so
> if OP (i know where you live) decides to go to court he's aware and ready
> with proper evidence, or particulars as they like to call it.
>
> Also I don't really know where OP lives but I reckon I could backtrace it

If it was "relatively recent", it might be an interesting adventure
for them to drag Apple's butt into small claims :)

For the $37 filing fee and a few hours of preparation, you can't go
too far wrong on this one :)

Although personally, I'd at least consult a lawyer about "reasonable"
exemplary damages given the circumstances, and a useful precedent or
10 related to such claims, and then file in the appropriate court for
the size of the claim.

And remember to enjoy the journey,

Sid E

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Dec 4, 2019, 5:39:00 AM12/4/19
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If I knew the specific legislation they used to get it dismissed as evidence I'd be a lawyer, I just coughed up the money to someone who I was referred to.

The lawyer and barrister were excellent at their job, thats why I always recommend people hire a good lawyer and not rely on legal aid.

Lawyers get paid if you win or lose and often don't care in legal aid, self representation is actually better than legal aid - I built a case for a mate up on assault charges, legal aid told him to plead guilty and I said plead not guilty and say self defense

He told legal aid to "get fucked you dumb dogs" and got off no conviction and a donation to the 1 Punch Fondation. Personally I think he was doing a community service but I'm the cyber police not the real police.

He also got warned twice for calling the magistrate "bro".

I'm kinda used to being on the pointy end of the stick of the law.....

Patrick Webster

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Dec 16, 2019, 4:01:53 PM12/16/19
to 2600 Australia List
Just noticed (and a bit late to respond...)

Most 2600 folk are on Facebook or Slack BTW... Slack is more popular for "IRC" and questions. FB is used for monthly meetings and voting for next venues / networking. Many speak privately amongst themselves (apart from slack HQ listening in - stupid but popular, same as FB).

Anyway yes sounds like a nightmare. IANAL but would suspect it would come under consumer Law and EULA?

(Just because it vanished for the user, doesn't mean it is gone for LEA or senior IT support / security staff).

I don't know anyone in .au working for Apple, but you might have some luck if you find the right people? Perhaps LinkedIn's 6 degree of separation? Rules can be bent if you find the right people with a legitimate reason... It's not a quick fix, but with persistence and legitimacy -- it is entirely possible.

Otherwise a good reminder to keep your own darn backups and failsafe (as much of a problem in 2020 as it was in 70-80s).

Patrick


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