Court rules iPad tracking is not trespassing

Summary:The ACT Magistrates Court has ruled that tracking down a stolen iPad using Find My iPhone is no different to calling out to a kidnapped child.

Tracking down a stolen iPad and triggering the alarm for it using Find My iPhone is no different to calling out to a kidnapped child, and is not electronic trespassing, the ACT Magistrates Court has ruled.

Last month, an ACT resident tracked his stolen iPad to a north Canberra residence using the Find My iPhone app, which allows Apple device owners to locate their devices using GPS. Once at the residence, he activated the alarm alert, which traced the sound to within the garage of the residence. The owner then called the police, who searched the property and discovered the iPad among a number of other alleged stolen goods.

In an attempt to avoid being fingerprinted as part of an investigation into the alleged stolen items, the lawyer acting for the defendant claimed that the evidence was obtained unlawfully because the iPad owner "electronically trespassed" on his property by activating the iPad alarm.

Prosecutors labelled the claim as "absurd", and said that if it was trespassing, then Wi-Fi signals that cross property boundaries could also be considered as trespassing.

According to the Canberra Times, Chief Magistrate Lorraine Walker ruled on Friday that the iPad owner did not trespass.

"He could just as easily have shouted out to a kidnapped child and listened to its reply," she reportedly said.

Walker granted the prosecution's application, and ordered the man to present himself to police to have his fingerprints taken.

Topics: Apple

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Armed with a degree in Computer Science and a Masters in Journalism, Josh keeps a close eye on the telecommunications industry, the National Broadband Network, and all the goings on in government IT.

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