After Casey Urging, Apple Removes App that Enabled Production of Fraudulent Driver’s Licenses
“License” App Allowed Anyone to Manufacture Fake Driver’s License for Any State
Monday, December 12, 2011
Casey: Apps Shouldn’t Facilitate Breaking the Law
WASHINGTON, DC – At the urging of U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA), Apple has shut down an application that allowed people to create fake driver’s licenses. In a letter to Apple CEO Tim Cook, Senator Casey called on the company to take down an app that could facilitate unlawful activity by allowing criminals to create a new identity, steal someone else’s identity or permit underage youth to appear 18 or 21.
“I urged Apple to take the responsible step of removing this dangerous app, and I’m pleased that the app is no longer available in the store,” Senator Casey said. “As Pennsylvania and states across the country deal with the rising problem of identity theft, tools that facilitate breaking the law should not be available to potential criminals.”
DriversEd.com’s “Driver’s License” application for Apple products was 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 facilitate 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 they had used the fake driver’s licenses successfully.
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