How many Senators does it take to get a harmless Driver’s License app pulled from the App store? Apparently one.
The Coalition for a Secure Driver’s License (who knew such an organization existed?) used their formidable lobbying power to persuade Senator Bob Casey of Pennsylvania to write a letter to Apple requesting they remove the Diver's License app by Driversed.com from the App Store. Well it worked, and the app that once allowed users to create digital fake IDs is no more.
Driver’s Ed's app spent more than two years in the App Store without causing a hint of trouble. Below, the Coalition’s beef:
The "License" application by DriversEd.com for Apple iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad allows users to electronically insert any digital photo and the biographic information of their choosing into a template for a driver's license of a state of their choosing. The "License" application contains templates for driver's licenses for all 50 states, many of which are of designs that will be valid for the next several years. The user is then able to send the high quality digital image of the completed template to an email account. From the email attachment, the image can then be printed and laminated, creating a high quality counterfeit driver's license difficult to discern from one that's genuine.
I believe this application poses a threat to public safety and national security…it can 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 the app, a terrorist could bypass identity verification by the Transportation Security Administration, or even apply for a passport.
I have literally taken an ID away from a kid who tried to laminate on top of the ID a picture of what looked like Oddjob's head from Goldeneye on the Nintendo 64. Aside from that, even good fakes are easily identifiable to those who care to look. Fonts, background colors, and holograms are always off in some way, and even if the person has a proper second form a simple hand-writing test or questions about the individual’s “hometown” do the trick. Two girls with fake Ohio IDs couldn’t point out on Google Maps where their “hometown” in Ohio was.
Somehow, this seems like an underwhelming application to warrant Senate interference for the first time. The best fake IDs are real IDs from friends or family members who look like the individual in need of the ID. At that point the ID is real, the second form is usually real, and it is up to the bouncer or whoever to decide if the person on the ID is the person nervously waiting approval. Making this about national security seems laughable. I know the TSA is a joke, but If a terrorist uses an ID created from an iPhone application to bypass our attempts at securing our nation we need to seriously reevaluate who we're hiring to keep our country safe.