Printers Let Big Brother Connect Privacy Dots

Watchdogs worry about anti-counterfeit marks left by laser models
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 15, 2008 3:13 PM CDT
Laser color printers currently make up only 4% of printer sales in the US but their popularity is growing.   ((c) oskay)
camera-icon View 2 more images

(Newser) – The growing popularity of laser printers has privacy watchdogs worried, USA Today reports. Many such printers have a feature, designed to foil currency counterfeiters, that puts a signature of microscopic dots on each page. In the US, only the Secret Service can decode the information, but there are concerns the feature could be used to track down dissidents and whistleblowers.

"There's nothing about this technology that limits its application to counterfeit investigations," said a rep for an electronic privacy group. "Some people who aren't doing anything wrong may have their privacy threatened."