Apple is said to have removed the Activation Lock tool on the iPhone, iPad and the iPod. With this feature, users could check the ownership status of any of the above mentioned devices.
This tool allowed users to enter the serial number or IMEI of an iOS device to find out if the activation lock was active or not. This helped consumers who were interested in purchasing used devices avoid stolen ones. It has been removed from the iCloud web page as well which now leads you to a ‘404 Not Found’ page.
Apple hasn’t mentioned as to why exactly it is shutting down the Check Activation Lock Status feature. There is a possibility that the company took the decision due to some security or privacy risk, or maybe there aren’t enough people who are actually using this feature.
Last year, a Kerala based security researcher had identified a bug running in iOS 10.1 that allowed him to bypass the activation lock on an iPad. Hemanth Joseph bypassed the activation lock in a locked iPad by finding a weakness in the device setup process running on iOS 10.1. The bug which was discovered by Joseph was reportedly fixed in an iOS update later.