Senator Calls on Apple: Stop Helping Criminals Break the Law

Dec 12, 2011, 09:00 ET from Coalition for a Secure Driver's License

WASHINGTON, Dec. 12, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) sent a letter to Tim Cook, Chief Executive Officer of Apple, Inc., requesting that Apple immediately remove the "License" application from the App Store.


The "License" application by 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.

In his letter, Senator Casey stated that, "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."

Brian Zimmer, President of the Coalition for Secure Driver's License stated, "I applaud Senator Casey's efforts. Apple has a responsibility to its users to ensure that its technology does not facilitate crime. Counterfeit driver's licenses are not novelties. They present a very real risk to public safety and national security. Apple should have had measures in place to prevent the 'License' application from ever making it to the App Store. Apple Corporation's lack of action to pull this application when I first notified them in April, 2011, of its risk to public safety was dismaying. Apple should establish a careful policy of reviewing applications for the App Store that might lead to a child's injury through inappropriate use.  The License App presents a clear risk to public safety."

On April 4, 2011, Mr. Zimmer sent a letter to Scott Forstall, the Senior Vice President for iPhone Software at Apple, Inc. In that letter, he expressed his concern regarding the various uses of a counterfeit driver's license, including obtaining a U.S. Passport. A copy of the letter can be found here

Mr. Zimmer also stated that "the counterfeiting of driver's licenses used as IDs together with counterfeit or stolen credit cards has become epidemic in many U.S. metropolitan areas. The problems get worse during the holiday season, as merchants overwhelmed with crowds of shoppers have limited time to examine driver's licenses presented by the crooks making purchases with credit cards. It's entirely possible that some criminals are currently using the application to rip off stores."

About the Coalition for a Secure Driver's License:

The Coalition for a Secure Driver's License is a 501 (c) (3) non-partisan, not for profit, crime prevention education public charity, supported by donor contributions from across the United States. 

The CSDL slogan, "Working to protect the identity of every American", embodies our commitment to higher standards for both government and private entities that issue identity credentials, especially state agencies that issue driver's licenses and ID cards.  CSDL undertakes research projects addressing best practices for DMVs, compliance with federal laws and regulations, identity fraud prevention and related identity management topics.  CSDL provides research results and educational programs to the public and to state and federal officials.  CSDL is a member of the Document Security Alliance and the American National Standards Institute.

Details are available on CSDL's website at

SOURCE Coalition for a Secure Driver's License