Monday, July 14, 2008

Laser printer imprint could jeopardize privacy

Would you believe that there could be any connection between laser printer technology and privacy?

Well, there is a story that a number of laser printers, including low cost one, leave invisible yellow dots that identify the serial number of a particular printer, and sometimes the time and date of the printout. The federal government uses this technology largely to look for counterfeit money or possibly legal documents. Possibly they could be used in other kinds of criminal investigations. However, it could be used to track down dissidents, particularly in other countries, such as China.

About 4% of the printers sold in the US for personal use are laser printers.

The story by Thomas Frank appeared in USA Today in the Technology section, link here.

I have owned several laser printers, the first one an HP purchased in 1985 for over $2000.

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