Apple Pulls App for Creating Fake Driver's Licenses Following U.S. Senator's Complaint

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Apr 12, 2001
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The Coalition for a Secure Driver's License today announced that U.S. Senator Bob Casey of Pennsylvania has sent a letter to Apple requesting the removal of a free app that allows users to easily create digital fake IDs from the App Store.
The "License" application by DriversEd.com for Apple iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad allows users to electronically insert any digital photo and the biographic information of their choosing into a template for a driver's license of a state of their choosing. The "License" application contains templates for driver's licenses for all 50 states, many of which are of designs that will be valid for the next several years. The user is then able to send the high quality digital image of the completed template to an email account. From the email attachment, the image can then be printed and laminated, creating a high quality counterfeit driver's license difficult to discern from one that's genuine.
Casey reportedly noted in his letter that the ease with which the app allows counterfeit licenses to be produced poses significant risks related to identity theft, underage alcohol and tobacco purchases, and national security.
In his letter, Senator Casey stated that, "I believe this application poses a threat to public safety and national security...it can be used in a way that allows criminals to create a new identity, steal someone else's identity, or permit underage youth to purchase alcohol or tobacco illegally. National security systems depend on the trustworthiness of driver's licenses, yet with a counterfeit license created by the app, a terrorist could bypass identity verification by the Transportation Security Administration, or even apply for a passport."
While the app had been available in the App Store for over two years, it appears that Apple has now quickly responded to Casey's letter by removing the app from the App Store. The Coalition for a Secure Driver's License had sent a letter to Apple's Scott Forstall back in April, requesting removal of the application. Apple apparently did not, however, respond to that initial request.

This is not the first time that elected government officials have gotten involved in disputes over App Store applications. Earlier this year, a group of four U.S. senators sent letters to Apple, Google, and Research in Motion requesting removal of several apps that alert users to the locations of sobriety testing checkpoints. Apple took its time responding to the issue, which is considered controversial as some law enforcement agencies support public notification of the locations of such checkpoints. Ultimately, Apple updated its review guidelines to prohibit the use of DUI checkpoint location information except in cases where the information has been made publicly available by law enforcement.

Article Link: Apple Pulls App for Creating Fake Driver's Licenses Following U.S. Senator's Complaint
 

soco

macrumors 68030
Dec 14, 2009
2,837
116
Yardley, PA
Obvious decision.

Also, in before everyone starts the "omg Apple is are so unfair. SUCH A TYRANNY" thing again.
 

AriX

macrumors 6502
Jan 8, 2007
349
0
Obviously the right thing to do, but it can't be good that a simple image template can defeat TSA security and other U.S. identity systems.
 

Skika

macrumors 68030
Mar 11, 2009
2,946
997
I'm still mad because i can't use iTunes to produce nuclear weapons.

Stupid policies.
 

thetexan

macrumors 6502a
May 11, 2009
720
0
Right thing to do.

However, Apple really needs to allow users to install apps outside of the app store. It's ridiculous they don't allow me that without jailbreaking.
 

NightFox

macrumors 68020
May 10, 2005
2,328
1,792
Shropshire, UK
Phew, thank goodness they've now eliminated the only way anybody with a computer and scanner/printer would ever be able to do this. :rolleyes:
 

WestonHarvey1

macrumors 68020
Jan 9, 2007
2,458
1,221
Apple is free to make their own business decisions about what they sell in their stores, but getting that pressure from the government is scary. Whenever a senator makes a plea or suggestion that a business "do the right thing", the unspoken coda is "...or we'll force you to".

That's hardly a choice, and it's scary.
 

soco

macrumors 68030
Dec 14, 2009
2,837
116
Yardley, PA
Right thing to do.

However, Apple really needs to allow users to install apps outside of the app store. It's ridiculous they don't allow me that without jailbreaking.
Ridiculous? Really? And here I thought we were all still belly laughing at all of the stories on Android malware.
 

NightFox

macrumors 68020
May 10, 2005
2,328
1,792
Shropshire, UK
Apple is free to make their own business decisions about what they sell in their stores, but getting that pressure from the government is scary. Whenever a senator makes a plea or suggestion that a business "do the right thing", the unspoken coda is "...or we'll force you to".

That's hardly a choice, and it's scary.
Yes, but he used the special word... TERRORISTS!! - that magical fall-back word that justifies anything where logical argument fails (in the UK we tend to use paedophile instead)
 

Tofaha

macrumors 6502
Jun 18, 2007
253
0
MI
don't senators have real issues to contend with? I don't understand why they waste there time on such frivolous things.
 

heisenberg123

macrumors 603
Oct 31, 2010
6,496
9
Hamilton, Ontario
how the hell am i suppose to make my McLovin Drivers licence now??


serious, this app couldnt make a BAD fake id

I thought all IDs had that bar code on the back for a reason
 

WestonHarvey1

macrumors 68020
Jan 9, 2007
2,458
1,221
Yes, but he used the special word... TERRORISTS!! - that magical fall-back word that justifies anything where logical argument fails (in the UK we tend to use paedophile instead)
We also revert to pedophiles as a backup when terrorist fails.
 

ThunderSkunk

macrumors 68040
Dec 31, 2007
3,007
2,585
Milwaukee Area
While I might agree the decision is obvious and inevitable...

leave it to a politician to drag terrorists into the picture at every opportunity, and equate everything that irks them with the downfall of human civilization.
 

ArtOfWarfare

macrumors G3
Nov 26, 2007
8,886
4,699
Isn't it a huge issue if ID's can be duplicated this easily?

I don't see why they'd care about an iPhone app, I'm sure there's plenty of unregulated websites out there that can do this for you...
 

Caliber26

macrumors 68000
Sep 25, 2009
1,942
1,743
Orlando, FL
Yes, but he used the special word... TERRORISTS!! - that magical fall-back word that justifies anything where logical argument fails (in the UK we tend to use paedophile instead)
Ugh!! Don't get me started on this subject. This proves the direction in which we're headed and how 9-11 and the "war on terrorism", as you said, continues to justify anything and everything. There comes a point where you no longer feel protected, but threatened by your very own government. Scary times we're living in.
 

eawmp1

macrumors 601
Feb 19, 2008
4,140
17
FL
At least the senator didn't pull the "unpatriotic" card. :rolleyes:

But really, Apple, this app was allowed?
 

JonB3Z

macrumors 6502
Jun 23, 2009
259
0
Obviously the right thing to do, but it can't be good that a simple image template can defeat TSA security and other U.S. identity systems.
It can't defeat TSA security. It may, however, defeat the security at the counter of your local liquor store.
 

X5-452

macrumors 6502
Feb 16, 2006
478
40
Calgary, Canada
Aren't ID's supposed to have insane security features that makes PRINTING FROM YOUR HOME COMPUTER impossible?

At least in Canada, there's no way I'd ever be able to pass a home made ID as legit.
 

Ashyukun

macrumors 6502
Jul 19, 2008
262
1
OK, perhaps I'm a bit confused here, but this app allowed you to create a fake digital driver's license on your device, correct? So, unless bartenders/TSA agents/law enforcement are going to accept, "I'm sorry, I don't have my ACTUAL driver's license with me, but here's a picture of it on my iPhone," you'd have to save the file off, mail it to yourself, print it out (likely multiple times to get the size right), and then what, paste it over your ACTUAL driver's license?

Every time I've ever had my ID checked (usually when flying), the person doing the checking has had a UV light to check the UV indicator on our Kentucky licenses. Otherwise, they've been checking for the holographic foil embedded in the license. Neither of which would be present if you just printed out whatever this app generated and pasted it over a real license. In other words- anyone who is going to be fooled by this really should not be in a position to be checking IDs in the first place...

Sure, it seems like a slam dunk that Apple would cave on this, but it also seems like they could have just said, "If you seriously think there's that big of a security risk posed by this app, you need to be worrying more about those responsible for that security than about this app..."
 

b11051973

macrumors 6502
Apr 8, 2006
354
366
A fake ID would have been a dream to me 20 years ago when I was in high school. Seems with the internet, making one isn't quite so hard. Even with this app gone, I assume there must be websites doing the same thing.
 
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