Tech

Apple Find My app led a Missouri SWAT team to raid an innocent family’s home, lawsuit pending

2024 03 26 image 28

Facepalm: Apple’s “Find My” feature has helped many users locate their lost devices. Cupertino engineers certainly didn’t design the app to help police track down gangs, but that didn’t stop Missouri police officers from using it to conduct a raid last May, with disastrous consequences.

A Ferguson, Missouri family is suing the St. Louis County Police after a SWAT team raided and ransacked their home based on information from “Find My,” the functionality that helps Apple users find lost or stolen devices. The lawsuit claims that the software lacks the accuracy to pinpoint a device to a specific address.

The Riverside Times notes that Brittany Shamily was at home with her children, including a three-month-old, when officers in full tactical gear burst through her front door with a battering ram last May. They pointed their weapons at Shamily’s husband, Lindell Briscoe, who was sleeping in his work truck in the driveway with the other children.

The officers were looking for weapons and material related to a carjacking that had occurred that morning. They spent half an hour turning over drawers and causing other damage before leaving empty-handed. One officer reportedly punched a hole in a wall, while another broke through a drop ceiling.

Earlier that day, about 16 miles away in South County, six people reportedly stole a Dodge Charger outside a Waffle House. At the scene, a friend of the car’s owners told police that their AirPods were in the vehicle and suggested using Find My to track them. Apple’s tracking system led the officers to Shamily’s home. Authorities then sought a search warrant, suspecting firearms to be in the residence.

After the mistaken raid, police found the AirPods lying on the street outside the house. One of Brittany and Briscoe’s daughters later reported seeing what might have been the stolen Charger speeding through the neighborhood. One of the carjackers might have thrown the AirPods out of the window near the house. Later that day, the perpetrators crashed the car about six miles away.

The lawsuit states that Apple’s tracking feature did not provide sufficient probable cause for an armed raid. It’s unknown whether the issuing judge knew that SWAT had sourced the location on the warrant application from the Find My app. The family’s lawyer said this case exemplifies the overuse of SWAT teams.

Image credit: The Riverside Times

Related posts

Obama, Hamas and ‘Complicity’ – WSJ | News Fission

D Singha

Data-sharing strategy needs business buy-in | News Fission

D Singha

Who were the 3 founders of Apple? Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, and …? | News Fission

D Singha

Leave a Comment