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Monday, December 12, 2011, 08:54 am PT (11:54 am ET)

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

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."

License


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."