A British man is ridiculously attempting to sue Apple following a divorce, caused by his wife finding messages to a prostitute he deleted from his iPhone that were still accessible on an iMac.

In the last years of his marriage, a man referred to as “Richard” started to use the services of prostitutes, without his wife’s knowledge. To try and keep the communications secret, he used iMessages on his iPhone, but then deleted the messages.

Despite being careful on his iPhone to cover his tracks, he didn’t count on Apple’s ecosystem automatically synchronizing his messaging history with the family iMac. Apparently, he wasn’t careful enough to use Family Sharing for iCloud, or discrete user accounts on the Mac.

The Times reports the wife saw the message when she opened iMessage on the iMac. She also saw years of messages to prostitutes, revealing a long period of infidelity by her husband.

  • cobysev@lemmy.world
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    1 month ago

    I knew a guy when I served in the US military who got caught cheating in a semi-related way. He got assigned to a base in a new state and his wife refused to relocate their whole family for the few years he’d be assigned there, so he went by himself, leaving his wife and kids in his home state.

    Turns out, he was sexting one of his younger subordinates at work. One of his daughters found out when she tried to use an old tablet and found out his account was still synced to it. She saw all his texts updating in real time.

    He was ultra-conservative and didn’t believe in divorce, so he was doing everything he could to save his marriage. His wife forced him to install security cameras in every room of his apartment and banned him from going anywhere after work. She knew his schedule and expected him home immediately after work ended. He was basically on house arrest until his job was done and he could move home.

    The last I heard, he told his wife the landlord needed to paint the walls, so he removed all the cameras, dunked them in the bathtub, then played dumb when none of them would work when he set them back up again. He was seen inviting young women over to his apartment after that. So, you know… he didn’t learn his lesson.

    • CosmicTurtle0@lemmy.dbzer0.com
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      1 month ago

      His wife forced him to install security cameras in every room of his apartment and banned him from going anywhere after work. She knew his schedule and expected him home immediately after work ended.

      This is so toxic. Not saying cheaters get what they deserve but if you can’t trust your husband, I think you have bigger problems than infidelity.

      • cm0002@lemmy.world
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        1 month ago

        That’s conservatism for ya, can’t divorce and just be happier people for it because sky daddy might be mad

        • Maeve@sh.itjust.works
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          It’s probably mostly due to not wanting to pay spousal support and control issues.

          • roguetrick@lemmy.world
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            1 month ago

            Opposite if they’re military. She gets benefits for being his wife. His income drops if divorced.

            • Maeve@sh.itjust.works
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              1 month ago

              There are two people using resources. Should’ve broadened my set, let me revise that now: greed and control issues. Thanks for the catch.

        • umbrella@lemmy.ml
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          1 month ago

          but can cheat no problemo!

          i will never fully understand religious zealots.

        • uis@lemm.ee
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          1 month ago

          That’s religiousness, not conservatism.

          • cm0002@lemmy.world
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            1 month ago

            Oh yea, they latch onto each other so much I forget that they’re actually separate things

            • uis@lemm.ee
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              1 month ago

              Except education. Conservation of knowlrdge across generations doesn’t seem to like religions very much.

      • Maeve@sh.itjust.works
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        1 month ago

        You wouldn’t believe how many people think like that, unless it’s the woman caught out.

          • Maeve@sh.itjust.works
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            1 month ago

            I chuckled. I think there is deep seated shame of being gay, or soft, in toxic masculinity (and toxic femininity), that people probably go to extremes to hide it. Like being a player, spousal “discipline,” etc. and it gets passed down from generation to generation. But that’s a whole other topic.

      • umbrella@lemmy.ml
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        1 month ago

        sex before marriage is a sin, but you can use the asshole loophole just fine.

    • Riven@lemmy.dbzer0.com
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      1 month ago

      I found out my ex of 12 years was cheating in a similar matter. For some reason she liked taking screenshot of conversations, I had set up Amazon pictures auto backup on her phone at her request cause she was afraid of losing 16 years of pictures. One day I was looking through the backups cause my phone was also set up and I was looking for an old picture I no longer had on my phone. I ended up finding plenty of screenshot of her texts with an old school boyfriend she had been cheating on me with for almost 2 years. Nothing physical as far as I could tell but I can’t say for certain it didn’t happen, emotional cheating is just as bad for me anyways.
      I also saw that some screenshot were from Instagram and I knew her tablet was logged in so I checked and it was all there. Worst part was, that she would often be texting him when we were together doing things and basically telling him she wish she was there. Worst 3 months of my life while I got my ducks in a row so I could leave without issue.

      I found out she met him at least twice on her yearly trips back to her home country.

      • SoleInvictus@lemmy.blahaj.zone
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        1 month ago

        I’m so sorry. I’ve been in a similar situation and I know how it just makes you feel gutted. I’m glad you’re free of someone like that, though.

        • Riven@lemmy.dbzer0.com
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          Yea it left me feeling hollow for a while but I’ve found a lovely new girl who respects and appreciates me who I’ve been with for almost 2 years now and she’s also my fiancee.

    • OsrsNeedsF2P@lemmy.ml
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      1 month ago

      I just can’t understand why it’s up to the husband to say no divorce while he cheats? Like what position of power does he have?

      • lemmyvore@feddit.nl
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        1 month ago

        Lots of places do not allow no-fault divorce and the Republicans are planning to make it universal if they win the elections.

          • atrielienz@lemmy.world
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            1 month ago

            He had military benefits to spouses that she would be walking away from. Healthcare, dental, affordable subsidized housing, or housing allowance, less expensive child care, all kinds of things. Being the spouse of a military member is hard, but there’s perks, especially if you have children.

    • ConsistentAlgae@reddthat.com
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      This will be buried but it’s my take on it and whatever…

      So I was Army for a while - away from the wife and kid (at the time only one now I’m up to 2 I’m winning life) and it boils down to two separate issues: can the husband deal or the wife.

      Men take a ton of shit going through military service so having solid ground back home is like winning the lottery. You never think it’s going to happen, you get excited it might, but it never does. I’m not dogging women in this at all but we are all just humans who want comfort in some way.

      So I approach this from the woman’s side. She wants to know that’s her man. Only hers no one else’s. That’s the hero she married and cameras ain’t gonna make a shit stain difference in it. But she’s still scared so she asks for it.

      Young men don’t have brains lol. We don’t think we just do. And I approach this with several years of learning from my mistakes. Which this man didn’t have. Yet. Hopefully now he does.

      It’s easier to paint the woman the villain for not “supporting the ‘hero’” (yes that’s double quotes cause signing a paper is easy as hell) but to marry someone and just decided to leave… that’s not how the army works or any military branch for that matter.

      Sounds to me like the man had a kid, decided that’s not the life he wanted, fucked that life up and here we are. I’m not saying it’s right or wrong but… here we are.

    • uis@lemm.ee
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      1 month ago

      Sounds like some cartoon plot. My New Wife: Divorce is Magic.

  • Todd Bonzalez@lemm.ee
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    1 month ago

    The article tries to say that this is ridiculous, but I don’t see it.

    Sure, he’s a cheater, and he got caught. Not particularly sympathetic.

    But, Apple markets their products as privacy-respecting, he deleted something he wanted to keep secret, and his Apple products betrayed him and revealed his secret to someone else, resulting in real-world consequences.

    Apple should be held to account for the privacy violation at the very least.

    • KISSmyOSFeddit@lemmy.world
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      Except he used the same account for his prostitute texting device as for the family pc.
      It’s simple user error. You can’t have privacy from someone else who shares the same login.

      • baatliwala@lemmy.world
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        I don’t have any Apple devices so I don’t understand why deleting the message from one device doesn’t delete it from another. What is the point of a sync in that case?

        • OhStopYellingAtMe@lemmy.world
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          Deleting messages from an iPhone WILL delete them from other devices - assuming you’ve opted to let it to do that, and then even still, there may be a delay until the next sync happens.

          I’ve deleted messages on my iPhone and they’ll linger on my MacBook for a good while, depending on circumstances. (ie, if the MacBook wasn’t on network when the messages were deleted).

          • naticus@lemmy.world
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            Yep, instant sync is never a guarantee. There still has to be a queue for command messages along with authentication plus authorization of said commands. And just like you said, you must be connected to a network that then can reach their cloud to even receive the command queue.

            I run a sync service between multiple Active Directory domains as a result of a merger and the directories haven’t been cutover yet. Along with this sync is a password sync that is normally instant. Most of the times (> 90%), less than a second. Sometimes 3 seconds. Other times? 2 minutes. Even when things are within the same LAN, there’s the possibility of a backed up queue.

            So yeah, this is purely on him trusting the sync implicitly and not verifying. In my case, I trust it too but will on occasion have to assist users because it’s not infallible. Karma got him and I have zero sympathy.

        • KISSmyOSFeddit@lemmy.world
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          I’m not sure about the specifics in the Apple ecosystem but I imagine it’s like an email address that’s connected as IMAP on one main PC, and as POP3 on your phone.
          You can download the mails you need to your phone to read them and answer them on the go.
          But the mail server is synched to the PC. So deleting stuff on your phone just deletes the messages on your phone, not on the server and not on the PC.

          • Petter1@lemm.ee
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            You can “delete for all” since one or two years, but the Standard has long been “deleting from this device only”

          • linearchaos@lemmy.world
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            1 month ago

            Nah, it’s more like Dropbox. It’s a multi-way sync between all devices. Dropbox, Google drive and Microsoft one box all have the same kind of problems. Stuff that’s supposed to be deleted ends up not getting deleted, stuff that’s supposed to be overwritten ends up getting multiple copies with conflicts Even though nothing else has any changes staged. It’s totally possible to do it without all that, but there are cost savings are wrapped up in trying to add intelligence in there to make it communicate with the server less.

            I don’t really give a rat’s ass about the guy cheating, but if a company is going to drag me into their distributed ecosystem I fully expect deleted things to delete everywhere and stay deleted. This isn’t the first time that they’ve been in the news recently for deleted things reappearing.

    • brsrklf@jlai.lu
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      1 month ago

      revealed his secret to someone else

      I generally don’t like Apple, but I think crying about privacy violation because someone you’re willingly sharing your account with saw your stuff is not reasonable.

      • sugar_in_your_tea@sh.itjust.works
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        My kid sometimes takes pictures of my SO naked because they know how to access the camera. My SO deletes them as soon as they find them. If those pictures were synced to another computer, the expectation is that those pictures would be deleted from that other computer as well. Not deleting those pictures on the other computer is absolutely a privacy concern.

        That’s the case here as well. It’s reasonable to think of iMessage as one blob of data, where deleting from one device deletes all copies from other devices. In Apple jargon, it should “just work.” If it doesn’t “just work” as a reasonable person would expect and that results in damages, I think it’s reasonable for Apple to share in those damages.

        • hessenjunge
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          My kid sometimes takes pictures of my SO naked because they know how to access the camera.

          WTF?

          • sugar_in_your_tea@sh.itjust.works
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            The kid is under 5, they’re just curious and like taking pictures. It’s easy to access the camera on my SO’s lock screen.

            If it helps, they’re the same gender.

            • hessenjunge
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              To me gender isn’t isn’t relevant here, even if the kid is way older. The violation of privacy however is.

              I don’t recall the age I had to teach my kid not to film me taking a shower or a dump. I believe by the age of 5 they had their own mind when they wanted to be filmed/have their picture taken.

                • hessenjunge
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                  Just to be clear by the age of 3-4 a child should be aware of the concept of not taking what belongs to others including their pictures.

                  If your SO was fine with their phone being used to take nudes of them it would not be an issue. However in your 1st comment you state they are not.

                  The kids is old enough to understand boundaries and the word “no”. If that behavior is limited to your own household then fine you do you. It never is though.

        • brsrklf@jlai.lu
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          It would absolutely be a privacy concern if someone without the rights to access this data could access it from the computer.

          My understanding is that it’s the same account logged on both devices. Computers are multi-users devices. No technology ever would protect your secret stuff from someone you’ve just shared your personal account with.

          It’s a problem that deletion is not perfectly synchronized, yes. It certainly is a privacy risk because an unauthorized intruder could find them. But in this particular case, there’s no intrusion. The wife just had normal access to these messages in the first place.

          • sugar_in_your_tea@sh.itjust.works
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            I’m not saying he got hacked or anything, just that iMessage not working as a reasonable person might expect directly led to this problem. So I think the lawsuit is completely valid. I’m guessing he was using a family staring feature or something and deletes were not synced properly.

            This person is absolutely an idiot though. Everyone should know to use a non-synced messaging service when doing something you want hidden, like a burner phone or Signal.

    • WhatIsThePointAnyway@lemmy.world
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      I use Apple sync on all my devices including my computer and it does delete from one device to another IF you have sync set up properly. And it’s not instantaneous, it happens when the cloud sync happens. When the computer is off or in sleep, it’s not syncing and once it’s woken up, sometimes it takes a minute to sync up. My guess, it was either not set up right or it hadn’t sync’d yet.

      Other possibility, he didn’t know about the deleted folder where deleted messages sit for 30 days unless you clear it (like a computer trash can).

    • Cheskaz@lemmy.world
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      While I don’t necessarily agree in this case, you did remind me of something Justice Kirby (an Australia Hugh Court (our highest court) Judge) wrote in his dissent in Carr v Western Australia.^1

      “He was a smart alec for whom it is hard to feel much sympathy. But the police were public officials bound to comply with the law. We should uphold the appellant’s rights because doing so is an obligation that is precious for everyone. It is cases like this that test this Court. It is no real test to afford the protection of the law to the clearly innocent, the powerful and the acclaimed.”


      ^1 232 CLR 138, 188 [170].

  • jordanlund@lemmy.world
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    If I have multiple devices synced, and I delete something from one of them, it’s not unreasonable to think it should be deleted from all of them.

    For example, a shared calendar item on my phone, tablet and laptop. If I delete it on one, it should be deleted from all of them.

    If Apple synced the messages, but not the delete operation, yeah… that’s a problem.

    But it’s also on the guy for setting up/not disabling sharing in the first place.

    • locuester@lemmy.zip
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      It depends on how you look at these things. Traditional, fat-client POP3 email was not syncing, it was just downloading from the server. In such a case, I would not expect it to be syncing.

      In this particular case, I wouldn’t expect a sync at all. These are messages received on, and managed on, distinct devices.

      That said, I did get a MacBook last month and have learned that these things synchronize. Which is cool but I didn’t expect that. Still wouldn’t expect it on deletes.

      • sugar_in_your_tea@sh.itjust.works
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        Here’s how it’s advertised:

        If someone sends a message to your email address or phone number using iMessage, you receive the message on all your Apple devices that are set up to receive messages sent to that email address or phone number. When you view an iMessage conversation, you see all messages sent from any device, so you can keep in touch with others wherever you are.

        The article says nothing about deleted messages, but it does imply that what you see on one device is expected to match what you see on another. So it’s reasonable to think that deleting on one device will delete on another.

  • cheese_greater@lemmy.world
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    I know this wasn’t iMessage per se (altho its par for the course for that curs-ed app) but this serves as a good reminder for posterity.

    Its actually one of the issues with iCloud and the signin process because if you do the normal thing trying to sign into your account anywhere outside of AppStore, it automaticaly opts you in to iCloud and its showtime for all your data in terms of transit and restoring it and activating all of the crappy, leaky things like iMessage and Backup in addition to all 500+ apps you have that automatically synced themself the moment you opened and all times you used them if you didn’t de-toggle and delete whatever it shared up to that point

    • deranger@sh.itjust.works
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      All he had to do was put his wife on a different account on the Mac or use another messenger on his phone. I don’t see iMessage as being “leaky” in this instance. His messages didn’t appear anywhere they weren’t supposed to from a technical perspective. He used the same account on the Mac and iPhone, syncing messages worked as advertised. I’d expect this to happen with any message sync feature, it’s not iMessage specific.

      It’s like complaining that your wife found out your were cheating because you used FB messenger, yet didn’t create a separate login for your wife on your Linux desktop, and the sole account’s web browser is logged in to your Facebook. He fucked up, that’s poor computer security to let someone else use your account. A major Mac feature is a lot of activity is easily shared across devices you’re logged into. Photos, messages, calendar, reminders, all sorts of things. This tells me to be careful where I log in with my iCloud account and who uses it. Why would you not have a separate login for your wife, especially if you’re fucking around on her and she regularly uses that computer?

      • catloaf@lemm.ee
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        Guy’s an idiot for sure, but I would expect a delete action to sync as well. Why does a creation sync but not a deletion?

        • deranger@sh.itjust.works
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          Good question. It should sync deletes per their support article, and that’s my experience with iMessages. Wonder if this was an SMS conversation and it only delivers to multiple devices, but doesn’t actually sync SMS like it does iMessages.

          If you use Messages in iCloud, deleting a message or conversation on your Mac deletes it from all your devices where Messages in iCloud is on.

          https://support.apple.com/en-in/guide/iphone/iph2c9c4bfcb/ios

          • Revan343@lemmy.ca
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            If you use Messages in iCloud, deleting a message or conversation on your Mac deletes it from all your devices where Messages in iCloud is on.

            Technically that doesn’t say that deleting them from your phone will delete it from the backup on your Mac

            • disguy_ovahea@lemmy.world
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              SMS forwards and syncs through the Messages app if you enable it in iCloud. If he was getting the “Sign into iCloud” prompt to reauthenticate his Mac any point in time after the message was synced, and they were just hitting cancel, it would suspend sync and deletion.

        • Fisch
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          I think that’s the one thing Apple did wrong here. The way it seems to work currently, I would have to manually delete the same message from each device one after another. That’s stupid.

        • Maeve@sh.itjust.works
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          Because it deleted from the cloud, the synced message is already on the device. Once there’s a digital copy, it’s like a carbon physical copy. Just because you shred the white and yellow copy doesn’t mean you’ve shredded the yellow copy in the file cabinet you forgot about.