Kids these days don't realize how easy they have it. Getting your hands on a fake ID used to be difficult, requiring either skill, daring, dumb luck, or some combination of all three. It was a rite of passage as much as a way to get your hands on booze. Now, there's an app for that.
Or at least there was, until Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) complained to Apple. DriversEd.com had been offering a free download for iOS devices that allowed users to paste their photo and personal information into a template for each of the 50 state driver's licenses. "We've got every single state," says the description on the company's website, "so make a face, take a picture with friends, and go crazy!"
While the app was designed to be fun, Casey didn't think so. In his letter to Apple CEO Tim Cook, he wrote, "I believe this application poses a threat to public safety and national security and I request that you remove it from the App Store immediately."
"License" is no longer available in Apple's App Store.
According to a report by Mac Rumors, this wasn't the first time Apple has been asked to remove the app, which has apparently been available for over two years. "The Coalition for a Secure Driver's License had sent a letter to Apple's Scott Forstall back in April," said the article, "requesting removal of the application. Apple apparently did not, however, respond to that initial request."
Read the entire letter after the jump.
"License" App Allows Anyone to Manufacture Fake Driver's License for Any State
Saturday, December 10, 2011
App Could Undermine New License Protections in Place Across PA
Casey: Apps Shouldn't Facilitate Breaking the Law
WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) today called on Apple to shut down an application that allows people to create fake driver's licenses. In a letter to Apple CEO Tim Cook, Senator Casey said that this app could facilitate law breaking by allowing criminals to create a new identity, steal someone else's identity or permit underage youth to appear 18 or 21.
"Applications shouldn't facilitate law-breaking, which is exactly what this app does. Apple should shut it down immediately," Senator Casey said. "Pennsylvania just took a major step toward making our licenses more secure and an application like this undermines that effort. This app could allow criminals to deceive authorities or enable children to purchase tobacco or alcohol illegally."
DriversEd.com's "Driver's License" application for Apple products is marketed as a game for users to create 'realistic driver's licenses from any state.' In his letter to Apple, Senator Casey argued that such an application could ease deception by criminals or underage teens. Additionally, the ability to so easily create a fake driver's license could contribute to the rising problem of identity theft. On the application's reviews, several users commented that these fake driver's licenses have worked for them.
The full text of Senator Casey's letter to Apple CEO Tim Cook is below:
Dear Mr. Cook:
I write to express my concern with "License" by DriversEd.com, an application available for download in Apple's App Store which can be used to create counterfeit identity documents. I believe this application poses a threat to public safety and national security, and I request that you remove it from the App Store immediately.
By downloading "License", anyone with an iPhone or iPad can easily manufacture a fake driver's license by taking a photo and inserting it into one of fifty state driver's licenses' templates. Users then have a high quality image resembling an actual driver's license which they can easily print, laminate, and use for any number of illegal and fraudulent activities. While DriversEd.com markets the app as a fun game, it can also 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 this app, a terrorist could bypass identity verification by the Transportation Security Administration, or even apply for a passport.
While identity fraud is not a new problem, the use of readily available technology to facilitate this crime is of particular concern. By assisting in the creation of counterfeit driver's licenses, "License" threatens to ease deception by criminals and contribute to the rising problem of identity theft. Given these risks, I request that you remove this application from the App Store immediately, as well as any other available applications that allow users to create, steal or alter false identities. Thank you for your time and consideration.
Robert P. Casey, Jr.
United States Senator
Cc: DriversEd.com, Oakland, CA