This story was first published on 12 October 2005
Email claims that Internet users can view anyone’s Driver’s License details by visiting a specified website and entering a name, city and state into a search form.
Subject: Serious privacy issue!!!This is serious people… I just deleted mine!!!This is upsetting but I thought I should pass it along. Check your drivers license. Now you can see anyone’s Driver’s License on the Internet, including your own! I just searched for mine and there it was.. .. picture and all!! Thanks Homeland Security! Where are our rights?
I definitely removed mine. I suggest you do the same. . .
Go to the web site and check it out. Just enter your name, city and state to see if yours is on file. After your license comes on the screen, click the box marked “Please Remove”. This will remove it from public viewing, but not from law enforcement.
The email forward included above is simply the bait for a classic “gotcha” joke and should not be taken seriously. You cannot actually view drivers licence information on the site by entering a name, city and state into the website mentioned in the message. Visitors who do enter the requested details eventually arrive at a “results” page that displays a fake driver’s licence that includes an amusing image in place of the usual licence holder’s photograph. It does not matter what data is entered into the “search”, as the end result will be the same. Even completely fabricated information will generate an identical result.
The site claims that the information entered is not collected and I have no reason to doubt this claim. The following statement is included on the “results” page:
The website is actually rather clever and, since no real driver’s licence information is revealed, it does not compromise the privacy of licence holders in any way. Unfortunately, many people are forwarding the message onward without bothering to go to the site and check it out. Seemingly, many recipients are taking the email at face value and actually believe the information it contains to be true. These days there are a plethora of real threats to our privacy so obscuring the truth by perpetrating false invasion of privacy stories is less than desirable.
Having said that, taken in context, the site represents an enjoyable prank. If you have a minute, you might like to visit the site mentioned and enter some data in order to test the joke for yourself. As stated above, the name you enter does not need to be real. If you are concerned about providing your name on the site, just invent one. The end result will be the same.
An earlier version:
You need to check this out everybody!!!!
Invasion Of Privacy!!!
I just found this.
You can see anyone’s Driver’s License on the Internet – including your own! I just searched for mine and there it was.. .picture, address and all! Maybe we should start up a petition or something protesting this.
What do you think? Go to the website and check it out. It’s unbelievable!!!
Just enter your name, City and state to see if yours is on file.
Importance NoticeAfter considerable thought and with an ache in my heart, I have decided that the time has come to close down the Hoax-Slayer website.
These days, the site does not generate enough revenue to cover expenses, and I do not have the financial resources to sustain it going forward.
Moreover, I now work long hours in a full-time and physically taxing job, so maintaining and managing the website and publishing new material has become difficult for me.
And finally, after 18 years of writing about scams and hoaxes, I feel that it is time for me to take my fingers off the keyboard and focus on other projects and pastimes.
When I first started Hoax-Slayer, I never dreamed that I would still be working on the project all these years later or that it would become such an important part of my life. It's been a fantastic and engaging experience and one that I will always treasure.
I hope that my work over the years has helped to make the Internet a little safer and thwarted the activities of at least a few scammers and malicious pranksters.
A Big Thank YouI would also like to thank all of those wonderful people who have supported the project by sharing information from the site, contributing examples of scams and hoaxes, offering suggestions, donating funds, or helping behind the scenes.
I would especially like to thank David White for his tireless contribution to the Hoax-Slayer Facebook Page over many years. David's support has been invaluable, and I can not thank him enough.
Closing DateHoax-Slayer will still be around for a few weeks while I wind things down. The site will go offline on May 31, 2021. While I will not be publishing any new posts, you can still access existing material on the site until the date of closure.
Thank you, one and all!