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


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.

Top Rated Comments

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111 months ago
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:
Score: 29 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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111 months ago
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.
Score: 28 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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111 months ago
I'm still mad because i can't use iTunes to produce nuclear weapons.

Stupid policies.
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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111 months ago

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.
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
111 months ago
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.
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
111 months ago

It can't defeat TSA security. It may, however, defeat the security at the counter of your local liquor store.


Take it from a 21 year old university student, no one uses their fake ID at the liquor store. Those are the places that card you with the most scrutiny. Any real club or establishment swipe ID's for authenticity. Pretty much the only way to be underaged and get alcohol from a legit establishment is by finding yourself a legit ID from someone who looks exactly like you.

What fake ID's are usually used for is going to clubs/bars that are known to allow minors. You give your crappy ID just so they can say "hurr durr he gave us ID" if the police come in.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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