The tech world is hungry for iPad news and the press gobbled up a story about a Canadian citizen from Montreal who says he crossed into the US from Quebec and got past border control agents armed with only his standard driver's license and a scanned copy of his Canadian passport loaded into his iPad.
The trouble is that scanned passports in iPads or anywhere else ain't nothing like the real thing, baby, and US Customs and Border Protection says the incident didn't take place as described. The agency issued a statement, saying:
" The assertion that a traveler was admitted into the U.S. using solely a scanned image of his passport on an iPad is categorically false.
"In this case, the individual had both a driver's license and birth certificate, which the CBP officer used to determine identity and citizenship in order to admit the traveler into the country."
Press reports quote Martin Reisch, the individual in question who later posed for a photo of his iPad with scanned passport, as saying that he had forgotten his passport when getting ready to pass the US border from Quebec into Vermont December 30 and used his iPad with the passport image plus a nonenhanced version of his driver's license to gain entrance into the US.
Neither a routine driver's license or a passport scan is considered sufficient to authorize entry into the US.
However, Reisch speculated that the border agent must have cut him a break because of the holiday season, according to reports.
But, Customs and Border Protection says the incident never went down as described.
CBP says scanned images of the appropriate documents are insufficient, and since 2009 US and Canadian citizens have been required to produce a passport, passport card, Trusted Traveler card or enhanced driver's license to enter the US.
However, if a traveler doesn't have the required documents, CBP agents "must determine identity and citizenship using a variety of other means or deny entry," the agency says.
This provides some wiggle room, although CBP maintains that Reisch had in his possession both a driver's license and birth certificate, and the officer used these to determine the individual's identity.
The passport scan on the iPad apparently didn't play a role -- or perhaps the officer used it unofficially to further validate the identity determination.
Someone -- either CBP or Reisch -- is mistaken or not telling the truth about the incident, but the iPad angle was just too juicy for the media to pass up.
Reisch could not immediately be reached for comment.
Note: Photo courtesy of Canadian Press.