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I tried to log into my daughter's iMessage on an inactive iPhone. She called Apple because she got an email. They told her it was an iPhone 5c black. How did they know that? Do they know who the owner is? Is there a way to block my old iPhone so Apple can't trace it?

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They store device information thats linked to the UDID of the device. As far as I know, they can't tell who the owner is for sure. Moreover, I also doubt you can block the old phone.

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    Thank you for the info! You guys are great so full of knowledge
    – lisa
    Apr 6, 2015 at 3:00
  • when we lived in Indiana, my son sold the iPhone I had given him. Years later, I was living in Oklahoma, and I got a phone call from a repair shop in Seattle saying my iPhone was ready for pick-up.
    – WGroleau
    Oct 21, 2021 at 18:25
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The serial number has the device information included. Their database just pulls up the record according to the serial number. You can try and see it for yourself with any Apple device by using the support page. There, click on "Browse by Product" and type in your serial number. While this search does not necessarily give you the color or size, the type of device (e.g. iPhone 5c) will show up as first search result.

Another of their pages will show some more information and allows you to even get what support you have left by entering the serial number: Check Your Service and Support Coverage

So, nothing fancy or ill-meant really.

The owner gets registered when the iPhone is used with the iTunes Store or iCloud the first time. With both also being Apple services, it is simply tying this information together.

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