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I’m glad my printer’s an inkjet

Jason Tuohey of the Medill News Service reports that if you use a color laser printer, Uncle Sam can track everything you print, thanks to a quiet little gadget installed on many different companies’ printers that hides a serial number in tiny dots on your newly printed page.

However, [the dots] could also be employed to track a document back to any person or business that printed it. Although the technology has existed for a long time, printer companies have not been required to notify customers of the feature.
Lorelei Pagano, a counterfeiting specialist with the U.S. Secret Service, stresses that the government uses the embedded serial numbers only when alerted to a forgery. “The only time any information is gained from these documents is purely in [the case of] a criminal act,” she says.

I’ll stop whining about slow inkjet speeds now.