The makers behind a controversial app, which allowed users to create their own “driver’s licenses,” are defending themselves after the app was pulled by Apple.
The “License” app from DriversEd.com, which provides online driver’s education courses, was yanked from Apple’s App Store after Pennsylvania Senator Bob Casey joined the Coalition to Secure Driver’s Licenses in voicing concerns that the app could be used to easily create fake driver’s licenses.
In a letter to Apple CEO Tim Cook, released by the Coalition for a Secure Driver’s License, Casey wrote, “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.”
However, Gary Tsifrin of DriversEd.com said that the app was specifically designed with safeguards including different fonts, low image resolution, and even the DriversEd.com logo so that the resulting images could not be used to create counterfeit licenses.
“It would take a lot more expertise to rejigger the driver’s license app [to create a fake license],” said Tsifrin. “It would be much easier to start from scratch.”
Tsifrin said he supports Senator Casey and the coalition in wanting to keep government-issued IDs secure, but says that the coalition was mistaken in attacking the “License” app.
“It’s a shame in this case,” said Tsifrin, who said the company was not contacted by Casey or the coalition before the letter was released. “In this case no one looked at the app. ”
Tsifrin says the app, designed as a game or entertainment app, was intended for children or young adults to play with. In the two years it’s been on the market, he said, they’ve heard of no instances in which it was used to create counterfeit IDs.