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

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
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."
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 54
    Is this serious? How could anybody with a minimal amount of brain take this fake license for real??
  • Reply 2 of 54
    This sets a dangerous precedent of allowing members of Congress to have influence in society.
  • Reply 3 of 54
    aplnubaplnub Posts: 2,605member
    Zimmer needs to chill out. A real driver's license is much more dangerous than a fake one.
  • Reply 4 of 54
    Nothing wrong with pulling the app, but surely officials wouldn't fall for the fake id right???
  • Reply 5 of 54
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 9,233member
    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.
  • Reply 6 of 54
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 9,233member
    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?
  • Reply 7 of 54
    8002580025 Posts: 172member
    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.
  • Reply 8 of 54
    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.
  • Reply 9 of 54
    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.
  • Reply 10 of 54
    Yeah, that's our biggest issue as a society. Great job.
  • Reply 11 of 54
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 9,233member
    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.
  • Reply 12 of 54
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 9,233member
    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.
  • Reply 13 of 54
    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.
  • Reply 14 of 54
    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.
  • Reply 15 of 54
    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!
  • Reply 16 of 54
    jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member
    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.
  • Reply 17 of 54
    jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member
    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?
  • Reply 18 of 54
    As a side note, fake IDs had no role in 9/11. The hijackers boarded using their real names.
  • Reply 19 of 54
    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.
  • Reply 20 of 54
    lilgto64lilgto64 Posts: 1,147member
    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?
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