Fanboi beats 'e-trespassing' rap after using GPS to find stolen iPad
'Find my fondleslab' to track thief is legal, court rules
An Australian magistrate has ruled that an iPad owner acted lawfully when he used Apple's Find my iPad app to locate his stolen fondleslab in a private home.
ABC News and the Canberra Times report that when a Canberra man's iPad mysteriously disappeared he fired up the Find my iPad App. Doing so revealed, thanks to the fondleslab's built-in GPS, that it was located in a nearby suburb.
The newly iPad-less man went to the location indicated by the app and heard his iPad making noises within a home.
At this point he called the Police, who happily entered the suspect home and found the iPad and other goods they suspected to be stolen. That find led Police to become rather interested in the occupant of the home where the fondleslab was found. So interested, in fact, that they sought an order to take his fingerprints as he was by now a suspect in other burglaries.
The fondleslab-filcher argued that order was not legal, as using Find My iPad constituted “e-trespassing”, while the fondleslab-owner's prowl about the exterior of his home was the real thing.
Australian Capital Territory Chief Magistrate Lorraine Walker rubbished that argument, using analogies of a sniffer dog detecting drugs through the air or listening to a kidnap victim's cries for help from within a home to explain her belief using the App is legal. She also said, that radio waves are in the public domain and that the fondleslab-deprived man was allowed to beam them wherever he wished in pursuit of his property.
The alleged thief must therefore submit to fingerprinting procedures.
Of course had the alleged thief turned off the iPad, removed its SIM, put it into flight mode or given it a factory reset none of this would have happened. You'd imagine someone creative enough to run the e-trespassing defence could figure that out. ®