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Little Known Fact: Police Can Track You With Your Printer



By now most of us know that the government can read our emails, and listen to our phone conversations. They even know where we are at all times, especially if we use GPS. But their ability to track us goes way deeper than that. In some cases, they don’t even need you to carry a voyeuristic gadget to track you down. In fact, if they ever get a hold of something you printed from your computer, they can find you. Canon and Xerox both design their printers to embed a code on every page they ink. If you shine a blue LED on used printer paper and examine it with a magnifying glass, you’ll be able to see the faint yellow dots (which then appear black) that litter every inch of the page. These coded dots reveal the serial number of your printer, and provide a time stamp. The manufacturer can then trace the paper back to the owner. This feature is designed to help law enforcement hunt down counterfeiters, because laser printers make it so easy to copy money. The dots are created by a separate chip inside the machine, and it’s almost impossible to disable it without breaking your printer. Photocopiers have an additional trick up their sleeve. They save every image that’s ever been copied, and they can be retrieved many years later. So think twice before you use any of these machines. Anything you print can and will be used against you in a court of law.