Apple fake license app yank prompts coder controversy

Dec 14, 2011
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Apple fake license app yank prompts coder controversy

Apple has ignited another app yank controversy, with the creators of a fake driver's license app dismissing concerns that it could be used to produce real fake IDs as rash and the decision to pull it from the App Store as "premature." The contentious software, "Driver License", is designed to help market a test preparation kit produced by DriversEd.com, also available through the App Store, and gained notoriety when US Senator Bob Casey and the Coalition for a Secure Driver's License contacted Apple to complain that the software could be used to falsify personal documents.

The app, they pointed out, can create a fake driver's license for any of the 50 US states, which can then be sent on to an email address. "From the email attachment, the image can then be printed and laminated," the letter to Apple highlighted, "creating a high quality counterfeit driver's license difficult to discern from one that's genuine."

Apple responded by pulling Driver License from the App Store, where it had previously been available for around two years PC Mag reports. However, DriversEd.com have defended the software, arguing that some of the coalition's suggestions are in fact inaccurate.

The fake licenses are rendered at an underwhelming 72dpi, company founder and COO Gary Tsifrin told PC Mag, and include specific design inaccuracies - including incorrect fonts, colors and layout tweaks - to differentiate them from the real thing. "By design, it would take more effort and expertise to modify the product of the DriversEd.com Driver License app than to construct a counterfeit from scratch" Tsifrin insists. The app even prints "MOCK" across the top of the fake.

Apple in fact "pulled the app prematurely" the exec concludes, saying the company hopes it will be reconsidered in light of this new clarification. Apple is yet to comment publicly.


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