Sleuths Crack Tracking Code Discovered in Color PrintersBy Mike Musgrove
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, October 19, 2005; Page D01
It sounds like a conspiracy theory, but it isn't. The pages coming out of your color printer may contain hidden information that could be used to track you down if you ever cross the U.S. government.
Last year, an article in PC World magazine pointed out that printouts from many color laser printers contained yellow dots scattered across the page, viewable only with a special kind of flashlight. The article quoted a senior researcher at Xerox Corp. as saying the dots contain information useful to law-enforcement authorities, a secret digital "license tag" for tracking down criminals.
The content of the coded information was supposed to be a secret, available only to agencies looking for counterfeiters who use color printers.
Now, the secret is out.
Yesterday, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a San Francisco consumer privacy group, said it had cracked the code used in a widely used line of Xerox printers, an invisible bar code of sorts that contains the serial number of the printer as well as the date and time a document was printed.
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So, here is my question. If this is in Color Laser Printers, are they using some thing close in other printers (B&W Laser Printers, Ink-Jet Printers, Ect)? It just makes you wonder what else they do to track you, and you do not even know about it. Here are some Images of the code. It just makes you know that big-brother is tracking you more then you think.