cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

Is your printer spying on you?

Community Veteran
Posts: 5,616
Thanks: 627
Fixes: 1
Registered: 21-03-2011

Is your printer spying on you?

I've known for a while that colour laser printers print a unique code on every page they print. It is a code unique to that printer.  It is information in the public domain.  http://seeingyellow.com/
It's to help track forgers and the like.
Along similar lines many colour printers/copiers will refuse to print bank notes in high resolution. - I saw an episode of CSI Miami tonight which triggered my memory.
Now Zen, but a +Net residue.
4 REPLIES
MJN
Aspiring Pro
Posts: 1,103
Thanks: 54
Fixes: 2
Registered: 26-08-2010

Re: Is your printer spying on you?

When we got an all-singing all-dancing colour photocopier at work I had to try the bank note trick and it did indeed refuse to copy. If you covered up the dots-in-triangle shapes (commonly known as the 'EURion constellation' apparently) it'd let 'em through though (incomplete obviously).
Shame really 'cos the copies were really quite convincing even without cutting them out i.e. just sat there within an A4 sheet of paper people were reaching to pick them up!!
Mathew
VileReynard
Seasoned Pro
Posts: 10,980
Thanks: 265
Fixes: 11
Registered: 01-09-2007

Re: Is your printer spying on you?

How do you manage to get a proper double-sided registration?
An old scanner would allow you to edit out the yellow spots - or you could use a low power microscope and a fine-tip pen to obliterate the spots (by hand).

Community Veteran
Posts: 5,616
Thanks: 627
Fixes: 1
Registered: 21-03-2011

Re: Is your printer spying on you?

Check out intaglio printing and other such security features before getting too excited about printing bank notes on a laser printer. Wink
Now Zen, but a +Net residue.
Community Veteran
Posts: 14,383
Thanks: 714
Fixes: 10
Registered: 01-08-2007

Re: Is your printer spying on you?

No idea what mine might do. It's a big old thing that someone gave me for free as it was dead. I had it working within 20 minutes Cool
It's some something like 123k pages, has 256Mb memory installed and I believe it may also have its own hard drive in there somewhere as I've seen this referred to in the docs a few times. Reliable machine most of the time, had a few paper jams lately but that tends to be when the SO leaves junk on top.
Not looking forward to the toners running out though.. £350 worth  Sad
I need a new signature... i'm bored of the old one!