The majority of Apple iPhone users love their iPhones and everything about Apple. There are some who apparently don’t. Since Apple first introduced the iPhone, apps to jailbreak it have sprung up. With each incarnation of the operating system, new jailbreaks appear to circumvent it.
Some may be tempted to jailbreak an iPhone and wonder what type of repercussions may befall them for doing so.
The answer is that jailbreaking an iPhone just to gain root directory access and the ability to perform other modifications, while technically voiding an Apple warranty, probably isn’t against the law, says Make Use Of, but that this could change. Also, it appears that the reason it is legal to jailbreak iPhones is because of a provision to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act allowing for it. The same provision was not afforded tablets, so jailbreaking an iPad appears to be technically illegal.
Stealing software probably falls under the purview of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. Just recently, Matthew Keys was convicted of three counts under the act. Keys is to be sentenced in January 2016. He faces up to 25 years in prison and $750,000 in fines, though he will likely get less, as reported by the Inquisitr. Aaron Swartz was facing up to 35 years in prison. In what some believe was his unwillingness to come to terms with the sentence, Swartz took his own life. Many feel that penalties under the CFAA are too stiff; President Obama has called to make them stricter.
Android offers some users the ability to “root” their smartphones. While some carriers block Android users from doing so, Google doesn’t see to have any problem with it.
People who illegally root their Android device or jailbreak their iPhone probably aren’t going to go to jail. However, Apple doesn’t look like it’s going to change its contracts anytime soon. Even though jailbreaking an iPhone is probably legal, sharing or using stolen apps definitely isn’t. Unless absolutely necessary to install or use a special app, or as a repair technique, jailbreaking an iPhone is probably best if avoided. Those that do must understand that they run closer to possibly unwittingly breaking the law, and they should investigate the law for the specific actions they intend to take.
Plus, while there may be some good apps that can’t be run with a normal iPhone, there are bad ones too, says Mac World. Some are reported to make iPhones “crashy” and prone to “malware.” An OS update has the potential to “break” a jailbroken iPhone or iPad, causing users to be unable to use their device, or the app they are interested in using, for a period of time. If at all possible, finding any way other than using a jailbroken iPhone is probably the best route when selecting an app to complete a given task.
[Feature Photo by Christian Marquardt/Getty Images]