Apple has deleted the Activation Lock checker from its website, effectively removing one method which helps customers verify that used products haven’t been stolen. First spotted by 9to5Mac, the change is also reflected in Apple’s Find My iPhone support documentation, which used to recommend running the serial number of a device though the ‘Check Activation Lock Status’ page on iCloud before buying it. Now the page that once hosted the verification tool ends in a 404 error.
Those buying a used device can see if it is locked in person simply by turning it on, but those buying online now have no way of knowing if the device they’re buying has been stolen
– a device that could have been rendered unusable. While Apple’s site still directs users not to “take ownership of any used iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch until it has been removed from the previous owner’s account,” the company now provides no guidance for how to verify that information when they’re making a purchase online.