British Businessman Sues Apple for £5 Million Over Deleted Messages Leading to Divorce

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A British businessman is suing Apple for £5 million, alleging that the company’s lack of transparency regarding the deletion of messages led to the discovery of his infidelity by his wife, resulting in their divorce.

The middle-aged man from England, who has chosen to remain anonymous, claims that despite deleting messages sent to sex workers on his iPhone, they were still accessible on the family’s iMac computer.

According to The Times, these messages, dating back several years, were discovered by his wife, who then filed for divorce.

The businessman admitted to The Times that he had been contacting prostitutes through the iMessage app in the final years of his marriage, believing that the messages were permanently deleted after he erased them from his iPhone. However, he was unaware that these messages remained accessible on other linked Apple devices.

“If you are told a message is deleted, you are entitled to believe it’s deleted,” he told The Times. He expressed his distress over the situation, noting that the discovery was brutal for his wife and contributed significantly to their separation. He believes that had the revelation been less harsh, he might have been able to address the issue with his wife more rationally.

The businessman argues that Apple’s messaging system is misleading, suggesting that deleted messages are permanently erased when they can still be retrieved on other linked devices. “If the message had said, ‘These messages are deleted on this device’, that would have been a clue, or ‘These messages are deleted on this device only’ that would have been even better,” he added.

He is seeking over £5 million in damages, covering the financial losses from his divorce and legal costs, claiming Apple did not clearly inform users that deleted messages could still appear on other Apple devices.

Simon Walton, the lawyer from London law firm Rosenblatt representing the businessman, stated, “Apple had not been clear with users as to what happens to messages they send and receive and, importantly, delete. In many cases, the iPhone informs the user that messages have been deleted but, as we have seen, that isn’t true and is misleading because they are still found on other linked devices — something Apple doesn’t tell its users.”

Walton added that he is keen to hear from other Apple customers who have experienced similar issues.

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