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Scrutiny prompts Apple to pull fake driver's license app from iOS App Store

post #1 of 55
Thread Starter 
Following public criticism from a U.S. Senator, Apple has removed a novelty driver's license application from the iOS App Store.

Sen. Bob Casey, D-Penn., sent a letter to Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook last week requesting that the company remove the "License" application from the App Store. The software, from DriversEd.com, allowed users to electronically insert a digital photo and biographical information to a driver's license template.

The software included templates for driver's licenses from all 50 U.S. states. Users could then e-mail the image, and then print and laminate the image to potentially make a fake driver's license.

The "License" application was available in the App Store for more than two years. Apple did not comment on the removal of the software, but the Coalition for Secure Driver's License took the opportunity to criticize the company for the amount of time it took for the software to be removed.

"Apple should have had measures in place to prevent the 'License' application from ever making it to the App Store," said Brian Zimmer, president of the coalition. "Apple Corporation's lack of action to pull this application to pull this application when I first notified them in April, 2011, of its risk to public safety was dismaying."

Zimmer originally sent a letter on behalf of the Coalition for Secure Driver's License on April 4 to Scott Forstall, senior vice president for iOS at Apple. In that letter, Zimmer said he felt Apple could be breaking the law by distributing an application that "facilitates criminal fraud."



Though Zimmer's note did not result in the application immediately being pulled, Apple did respond quickly to the letter from Casey issued last Friday. In it, the senator said the application could aid criminals or underage teens in deceiving people.

"Applications shouldn't facilitate law-breaking, which is exactly what this app does," Casey said. "Apple should shut it down immediately."
post #2 of 55
Is this serious? How could anybody with a minimal amount of brain take this fake license for real??
post #3 of 55
This sets a dangerous precedent of allowing members of Congress to have influence in society.
post #4 of 55
Zimmer needs to chill out. A real driver's license is much more dangerous than a fake one.
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post #5 of 55
Nothing wrong with pulling the app, but surely officials wouldn't fall for the fake id right???
post #6 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

The software included templates for driver's licenses from all 50 U.S. states. Users could then e-mail the image, and then print and laminate the image to potentially make a fake driver's license.

Of course the app should be pulled.

I bet if there was a bomb making app on the appstore, then people here would whine about that too if it were pulled.

And just for the record, I also agreed with Apple when they pulled a DUI checkpoint app, which helped drunk scumbags find out where police checkpoints are. I want drunk scumbags to be caught, or if they crash, then hopefully they are the only ones to die.
post #7 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by ghostface147 View Post

Nothing wrong with pulling the app, but surely officials wouldn't fall for the fake id right???

You'd be surprised. There are plenty of incompetent fools that work in security related jobs. Have you ever run into some of the baboons that work for the TSA at airports?
post #8 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Following public criticism from a U.S. Senator, Apple has removed a novelty driver's license application from the iOS App Store.

Sen. Bob Casey, D-Penn., sent a letter to Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook last week requesting that the company remove the "License" application from the App Store. The software, from DriversEd.com, allowed users to electronically insert a digital photo and biographical information to a driver's license template.

Zimmer originally sent a letter on behalf of the Coalition for Secure Driver's License on April 4 to Scott Forstall, senior vice president for iOS at Apple. In that letter, Zimmer said he felt Apple could be breaking the law by distributing an application that "facilitates criminal fraud."

Of concern is that while Apple did have the novelty application for sale in the App Store, Apple did not develop the application. Why is there no mention of neither Casey nor Zimmer approaching the developer? Is is because it's easier to 'target' Apple or there's not enough 'press' to 'go after' the developer?

And as to Zimmer jumping on the "Told ya so" bandwagon, sounds a lot like posturing and justifying the coalition's existance. Makes you wonder why apparently no state BMV/DMV expressed concerns.
post #9 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post

Of course the app should be pulled.

I bet if there was a bomb making app on the appstore, then people here would whine about that too if it were pulled.

And just for the record, I also agreed with Apple when they pulled a DUI checkpoint app, which helped drunk scumbags find out where police checkpoints are. I want drunk scumbags to be caught, or if they crash, then hopefully they are the only ones to die.

So if I haven't been drinking I have to be punished by waiting in a line of cars for police officers to invade my privacy and breathalyze me?

Driving fatalities are at a record low since they were first measured. No checkpoints are going to stop a significant amount of drunk drivers from using the roads, only education and social pressuring will accomplish that feat (which it is), NOT officers stopping and questioning law abiding citizens.

From the article:
Statistics show that 80 percent of all crashes and 65 percent of near-crashes resulted from some kind of distraction experienced when drivers were either eating or drinking, reading, listening to music, or talking texting on their cell phones.

Do you see drunk driving mentioned anywhere in there?

The fact is that a DUI checkpoint app wouldn't be taken down from the Android market (and even if it was, Android allows you to install any software package from any source if you change that option) because Google doesn't assert authoritarian control over what apps you develop and install on your phone.

Are you the kind of person who agrees with random immigration checkpoints questioning US citizens as well?

I also don't think anyone would whine about a bomb-making app being pulled from the app-store. Why are you making that leap? The fake drivers license app was obviously for fun, something your kids could play around with (remember, they wish they could have an ID like mommy and daddy).

EDIT: Actually yes, drunk driving is mentioned in the article:
Studies have found that drivers who use their cell phones for talking or texting have much slower response times than those who do not. They also have slower reaction times than people with blood alcohol levels of 0.08.
post #10 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post

You'd be surprised. There are plenty of incompetent fools that work in security related jobs. Have you ever run into some of the baboons that work for the TSA at airports?

You don't honestly think that, do you? TSA may be baboons, but they do receive training, and they wouldn't be stupid enough to accept an ID from a smartphone.

They put the real IDs under an infrared light all day and you think that they would be stupid enough to let a smartphone ID through? Even if they were stupid enough to put the smartphone under the infrared light it would obviously not pass as a legit ID.

When you check IDs all day every day for a living, you know what's legit and what's not. Ask any bar bouncer.

EDIT: Now, seeing that the app can email and print the images, yeah, it should probably be pulled. I'll admit that. But it's not like this thing can produce a convincing fake without you taking that image and using a professional ID printing machine. Maybe we should illegalize Photoshop because it does the same thing.

Oh boy it sure is hard to get pictures of licenses and place my own picture in it.
post #11 of 55
Yeah, that's our biggest issue as a society. Great job.
post #12 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by akhomerun View Post

The fact is that a DUI checkpoint app wouldn't be taken down from the Android market (and even if it was, Android allows you to install any software package from any source if you change that option) because Google doesn't assert authoritarian control over what apps you develop and install on your phone.

I know that Google allows it, they don't give a shit about anything.

Apple and RIM pulled their app. Google didn't do anything.

If anybody has a big issue with that, then I suggest that they go and purchase an Android phone and boycott Apple because of their authoritarian tactics.
post #13 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by akhomerun View Post

You don't honestly think that, do you? TSA may be baboons, but they do receive training, and they wouldn't be stupid enough to accept an ID from a smartphone.

They put the real IDs under an infrared light all day and you think that they would be stupid enough to let a smartphone ID through?

When you check IDs all day every day for a living, you know what's legit and what's not. Ask any bar bouncer.

The app included up to date templates from all 50 states. So even if somebody didn't use the version that came out of the app, it could aid them in making a counterfeit ID using other methods.
post #14 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post

I know that Google allows it, they don't give a shit about anything.

Apple and RIM pulled their app. Google didn't do anything.

If anybody has a big issue with that, then I suggest that they go and purchase an Android phone and boycott Apple because of their authoritarian tactics.

I already have an Android phone, just like the other 52.3% of smartphone users. I have many Apple computers but the iPhone is not right for me precisely for this reason.

Also, I pay $25/month for my Android phone.

Google didn't do anything because the app is legal and they don't listen to wacko senators.
post #15 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post

The app included up to date templates from all 50 states. So even if somebody didn't use the version that came out of the app, it could aid them in making a counterfeit ID using other methods.

Yeah right. My state even has a picture of their ID on their own web site (it's low quality, but I'm sure some state has a higher quality image of their ID on their site).

My scanner can aid in making a counterfeit ID. Maybe they shouldn't sell scanners anymore.

My ID has a hologram, a background picture of myself behind the hologram, my signature overlaying the hologram, and of course the barcode that is scanned by my local liquor store and electronically verified. Anyone who needs an ounce of security will electronically verify your ID.

I mean I've never used this app, but did it even generate a real looking drivers license number? Could you put in your address? I don't know. If anyone can give me a link to the app on the Android market, if it's for Android and hasn't been taken down, I could check it out. I'm not finding it right now.

My point is, people were using this app for fun apparently, and anyone really serious about making fake IDs wouldn't be using this app to make their fakes. To never know if your app will be taken down for some stupid reason must really suck for a lot of iPhone developers.
post #16 of 55
I wonder how many people downloaded the app to make their own McLovin, a 25 year old organ donor license, copy.

Speaking of, Congress better get their ass all over this!
post #17 of 55
I agree that this app should have been pulled. (Actually, it should never have been allowed in the first place). It is clearly meant to circumvent the law.

Even if you assume that 100% of law enforcement officers would recognize their own state's license, what happens when someone uses it to board a plane in Florida using a Washington license?

Or, far more likely, 18 year old kids use fake out-of-state licenses to illegally buy drinks.

Note that the app lets you email the fake license, so you can print an laminate it - so it would be a plausible deception.
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post #18 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by akhomerun View Post

So if I haven't been drinking I have to be punished by waiting in a line of cars for police officers to invade my privacy and breathalyze me?

Driving fatalities are at a record low since they were first measured. No checkpoints are going to stop a significant amount of drunk drivers from using the roads, only education and social pressuring will accomplish that feat (which it is), NOT officers stopping and questioning law abiding citizens.

From the article:
Statistics show that 80 percent of all crashes and 65 percent of near-crashes resulted from some kind of distraction experienced when drivers were either eating or drinking, reading, listening to music, or talking texting on their cell phones.

Do you see drunk driving mentioned anywhere in there?

The fact is that a DUI checkpoint app wouldn't be taken down from the Android market (and even if it was, Android allows you to install any software package from any source if you change that option) because Google doesn't assert authoritarian control over what apps you develop and install on your phone.

Are you the kind of person who agrees with random immigration checkpoints questioning US citizens as well?

I also don't think anyone would whine about a bomb-making app being pulled from the app-store. Why are you making that leap? The fake drivers license app was obviously for fun, something your kids could play around with (remember, they wish they could have an ID like mommy and daddy).

EDIT: Actually yes, drunk driving is mentioned in the article:
Studies have found that drivers who use their cell phones for talking or texting have much slower response times than those who do not. They also have slower reaction times than people with blood alcohol levels of 0.08.

You're entitled to your opinion, but the courts (and the public) agree that DUI checkpoints are not unreasonable violations of your rights. And, having had a brother and his entire family nearly killed by a drunk driver, I agree that anything that can be done to reduce the numbers is a good thing.

Your numbers are meaningless. So driving fatalities are at a record low level? How do you know that it's not because of DUI checkpoints? 80% of crashes are caused by distractions? So if 0.1% of drivers are drunk and they cause 20% of crashes, you don't see that as a problem?
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post #19 of 55
As a side note, fake IDs had no role in 9/11. The hijackers boarded using their real names.
post #20 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

I agree that this app should have been pulled. (Actually, it should never have been allowed in the first place). It is clearly meant to circumvent the law.

Even if you assume that 100% of law enforcement officers would recognize their own state's license, what happens when someone uses it to board a plane in Florida using a Washington license?

Or, far more likely, 18 year old kids use fake out-of-state licenses to illegally buy drinks.

Note that the app lets you email the fake license, so you can print an laminate it - so it would be a plausible deception.

http://www.artcodesign.com/?a=6:cata...ense_templates

Edit: And law enforcment officers use national databases and those non-Macs in the vehicles to verify ID.
post #21 of 55
How is Apple facilitating breaking the law any more so that the manufacturers of color ink jet printer and scanners and lamination machines and image editing software?
post #22 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

Or, far more likely, 18 year old kids use fake out-of-state licenses to illegally buy drinks.

What if 18 year olds flew to Australia and used their real ID to legally buy drinks?

Old enough to die in a war = old enough to drink.
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post #23 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by akhomerun View Post


From the article:
Statistics show that 80 percent of all crashes and 65 percent of near-crashes resulted from some kind of distraction experienced when drivers were either eating or drinking, reading, listening to music, or talking texting on their cell phones, yelling at their kids

Corrected but you can not outlaw that.

Since the government could not figure out how to stop bad drivers they just told people speeding and drunk driving was killing people.

The people who put these laws in place are attempting to claim traffic deaths are down because of the laws, actually it is because cars are much safer today, you can get in a very bad accident and walk away verse 30 yrs ago you would have died. Better car designs is what is making most of the difference.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

I agree that this app should have been pulled. (Actually, it should never have been allowed in the first place). It is clearly meant to circumvent the law.

Even if you assume that 100% of law enforcement officers would recognize their own state's license, what happens when someone uses it to board a plane in Florida using a Washington license?

Or, far more likely, 18 year old kids use fake out-of-state licenses to illegally buy drinks.

Note that the app lets you email the fake license, so you can print an laminate it - so it would be a plausible deception.


How do you know this was a clearly intend to circumvent the law, you know there is no law against doing this as long as it is clear it is meant to be fake. You ever wonder how people can sell fake money, because it is a novitiate item and it is clearly label as such.

These days no one can get away with fake IDs, all state now follow the standard ID requirements and if you have flown in the last 5 yrs you would have notice the TSA and the nice blue LED flash lights they use to check the validity of an ID. Well most police are now using them as well as places which people tend to use fake IDs to gain access.

The only way it is illegal if it was truly meant to deceive someone, so without all the nice holograms and other ID security items missing it can not be meant to deceive. Also, if it was illegal the US would have been all over this developer and had the FBI and any other government agency they could think of visiting this person. Obviously they didn't so it no illegal.

This just another example of the government trying to regulate what people do even when it is legal.
post #24 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by hill60 View Post

What if 18 year olds flew to Australia and used their real ID to legally buy drinks?

What if 18 year olds flew to Burkina Faso and legally had sex with 13 year old girls?
post #25 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by akhomerun View Post

TSA may be baboons, but they do receive training, and they wouldn't be stupid enough...

They can be pretty stupid:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tEJpz...eature=related
post #26 of 55
Quote:
"Applications shouldn't facilitate law-breaking"

So lets stop or outlaw anything that some person in the government feel could facilitate law-breaking, so how many items can we think of here, here is few off the top of my head

Gun - Yeah I know they are still trying to outlaw them, could facility someone to steal or break into your house
Photocopiers - Yeah they also attempt to outlaw them, could temp people into copying a book
Radar Detectors - Yeah outlaw in the VA, causes people to speed
CB Radioes - Yeap those too were attempt to be removed from the public hands (causes truckers to speed)
Facebook - Should be since it could helps pedophiles. Before you say it not joking matter, but it just an example of how out of control this could get
post #27 of 55
"In it, the senator said the application could aid criminals or underage teens in deceiving people."

Using that logic, Photoshop and color printers should be illegal as well.
post #28 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lightwaver67 View Post

"In it, the senator said the application could aid criminals or underage teens in deceiving people."

Using that logic, Photoshop and color printers should be illegal as well.

I agree TOTALLY. Ban Photoshop, ban color printers, ban plastic laminators... ban everything! And of course make Apple, Google and RIM responsible for babysitting!

Reality is stranger than fiction, all I have to say.
post #29 of 55
Quote:

So your argument is that Apple should facilitate crime just because someone else does? That doesn't make sense.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ChristophB View Post

Edit: And law enforcment officers use national databases and those non-Macs in the vehicles to verify ID.

So? How many bartenders enter your ID into their national database?

Quote:
Originally Posted by hill60 View Post

What if 18 year olds flew to Australia and used their real ID to legally buy drinks?

Old enough to die in a war = old enough to drink.

I happen to agree with that, but it doesn't change the fact that it's illegal. Work to change the law all you want. But, until then, you are required to obey it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maestro64 View Post

So lets stop or outlaw anything that some person in the government feel could facilitate law-breaking, so how many items can we think of here, here is few off the top of my head

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lightwaver67 View Post

"In it, the senator said the application could aid criminals or underage teens in deceiving people."

Using that logic, Photoshop and color printers should be illegal as well.

Sure, there are lots of examples of things that CAN be used for criminal activities. Knives, guns, spray paint, gasoline, and even water. But the difference is that all of those things have legal, practical uses. I just don't see the reason to facilitate a practice that doesn't have any real socially acceptable value.

If you want to do it as a gimmick, then create an app that does drivers licenses from Neptune, Saturn, and Jupiter. Then it's obvious that it's a game.
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post #30 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post

You'd be surprised. There are plenty of incompetent fools that work in security related jobs. Have you ever run into some of the baboons that work for the TSA at airports?

Apple should retire them from airports then

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post #31 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by hill60 View Post

What if 18 year olds flew to Australia and used their real ID to legally buy drinks?

Old enough to die in a war = old enough to drink.

post #32 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post

What if 18 year olds flew to Burkina Faso and legally had sex with 13 year old girls?

Spain. Why go to Africa when you can have the same thing in a modern country?



Europe. Sometimes, not up to its own standards.


-- for the record, this is not encouraging people to go to Spain for that purpose, this is encouraging Spain to revise its own laws --

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post #33 of 55
2 years and I never knew about this app?


Quote:
Originally Posted by hill60 View Post

What if 18 year olds flew to Australia and used their real ID to legally buy drinks?

Old enough to die in a war = old enough to drink.

So we should make the drinking age zygote or older because of pregnant mothers who died in a war along with their unborn child. In all seriousness, I agree with your point regarding being old enough to be enlisted into the military and old enough to drink.

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post #34 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

So your argument is that Apple should facilitate crime just because someone else does? That doesn't make sense.

You keep saying facilitate crime. Neither Apple nor this App maker knowingly aid in the commission of a crime and neiter does that website I linked. News flash - people commit crime without iPhones. Sometimes they use MacBook Pros, OS X and perhaps even Safari.

My main point with the link was Congress cares about that damned app but a simple google search yields much more attractive options.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

So? How many bartenders enter your ID into their national database?

I was responding to your comment about law enforcment. Now that you're saying bartenders - they receive training on spotting fakes and when in doubt don't serve.

I think the extent we are taught to worry about preventing what others might do has gone way to far. My ideas for people with drinking and driving convictions (so after due process is complete) - publish their mugs on cable access channels and front pages of news papers, notify their employer and take away their license to drive. I'm not for jail time for non-violent stuff but I could be persuaded into stocks in the town square or caning.

Won't be a problem for me. I carry so I don't drink in public.
post #35 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lightwaver67 View Post

"In it, the senator said the application could aid criminals or underage teens in deceiving people."

Using that logic, Photoshop and color printers should be illegal as well.

I've seen some "creative" types do things with 'toshop that should be illegal. Advertisement among other things (ever seen a burger that looks like the ones on the front of MacDonald's? I, never.)

And that's not even mentioning the really horrible stuff, with colors and flashy letters. Some "creative" types should not be allowed to play with such weapons of massive destruction as the "creative" suite

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post #36 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by akhomerun View Post

Yeah right. My state even has a picture of their ID on their own web site (it's low quality, but I'm sure some state has a higher quality image of their ID on their site).

My scanner can aid in making a counterfeit ID. Maybe they shouldn't sell scanners anymore.

My ID has a hologram, a background picture of myself behind the hologram, my signature overlaying the hologram, and of course the barcode that is scanned by my local liquor store and electronically verified. Anyone who needs an ounce of security will electronically verify your ID.
.

I think the more popular fake ids are ones from out of state because the bouncer doesn't know what it is supposed to look like. Just like the one I found in my son's wallet.
post #37 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by aplnub View Post

Zimmer needs to chill out. A real driver's license is much more dangerous than a fake one.

True, given the way people drive
Hardened criminals would use other means of obtaining fake licenses, like this thing called the Internet. And terrorists would just use their real names if they part of sleeper cells. You cannot present a fake license to the police at a traffic stop (unless you want to go jail). These fake licenses are only good for buying booze or getting into clubs.

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post #38 of 55
Obviously this is just a politician trying to look like he is doing something instead of dealing with real issues. Maybe proof that someone was illegally using this app and getting away with it first?
post #39 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by tjwal View Post

I think the more popular fake ids are ones from out of state because the bouncer doesn't know what it is supposed to look like. Just like the one I found in my son's wallet.

Did it say his name was McLovin from Hawaii?

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post #40 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by tjwal View Post

I think the more popular fake ids are ones from out of state because the bouncer doesn't know what it is supposed to look like. Just like the one I found in my son's wallet.

It might work at Applebee's, but real bars scan the barcode too.
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