Developer of Fake Driver's License App Responds to Apple
Yesterday, we reported on Apple's removal of a free iOS app from DriversEd.com that allowed users to create fake driver's licenses on their devices. While the app was positioned as a joke app that would allow users to add funny content to licenses and share them with friends, it attracted the concern of U.S. Senator Bob Casey, who sent a letter to Apple suggesting that the app could be used to support identity theft and underage alcohol and tobacco purchases, as well as compromise national security.
DriversEd.com got in touch with MacRumors about the situation, sharing that Apple did not contact the company until several hours after pulling the app from the App Store. In its communication, Apple simply cited without clarification Section 22.1 of the App Store Review Guidelines:
Apps must comply with all legal requirements in any location where they are made available to users. It is the developer's obligation to understand and conform to all local laws.
In a press release (PDF) response and an associated FAQ (PDF), DriversEd.com lays out the numerous ways in which the gag licenses produced by the app could not possibly used to generate legitimate-looking fake IDs. Among the most important characteristics are slight differences in layouts, fonts and colors, multiple mentions of the license being a "mock" from DriversEd.com, and a resolution of just 72 DPI.
DriversEd.com specifically and deliberately designed the app to prevent the creation of counterfeit identification. “By design, it would take more effort and expertise to modify the product of the DriversEd.com ‘Driver License’ app than to construct a counterfeit from scratch,” says Founder and Chief Operating Officer Gary Tsifrin.
Tsifrin goes on to note that it strongly supports Senator Casey's goal of secure identification but that the company's free license app could not possibly threaten that aim. Says Tsifirn, "We hope that in light of these facts Apple will take one more look at the DriversEd.com ‘Driver License’ app."