Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Government Uses Color Laser Printer Technology to Track Documents

Government Uses Color Laser Printer Technology to Track Documents according to a PCWorld story in the news today. In this article, Peter Crean, a senior research fellow at Xerox, says Xerox uses technology in their laser printers to put the "serial number of each machine coded in little yellow dots" and can thus track any document made on them back to you like a "license plate" to the original owner of the machine.

This is done, in theory, to help trace and stop counterfeiting because laser printers can easily reproduce real looking copies of money. The printer manufacturers have adopted the technology to assuage the fears of many governments that large scale copying of their money would occur if they allowed the laser printers to be sold. The nearly invisible yellow dots are applied about every inch of any document printed and requires a blue light and a magnifier to be able to see them.

This all makes great sense in tracing counterfeit money, but consumers should be told that this technology is being used and can track all documents back to them through manufacturers product registration and warranty database. It's another way to remove all trace of anonymity from any document printed from your own laser printer and has been in use for years.

More surveillance at work. Lorelei Pagano, a couterfeiting specialist with the U.S. Secret Service, says "The only time any information is gained from these documents is purely in a criminal act."

That is the claim of all surveillance technologies and is used as justification for public spying of all kinds by governments and large corporations that employ these types of big brother tools. All that is required is NOTICE to the consumer or citizen in public places that they are being monitored and when that is not done, there appears to be more to the story. The fact that this laser printer technology has been kept quiet for over ten years it has been in use suggest that there is more to this story as well.

Clearly, if that notice was provided by laser printer manufacturers, fewer counterfeiters would attempt to use the machines to counterfeit money. So why not just announce it in product literature and discourage counterfeiting before it is done, rather than wait a track down criminals AFTER the fact? There must be more to this story.

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posted by RealitySEO at 10:17 AM


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