the documents between us
October 19, 2005 7:39 PM   Subscribe

Yesterday, the Electronic Frontier Foundation 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.
posted by The Jesse Helms (15 comments total)

This post was deleted for the following reason: posted moments before

That's unsettling.

I'm not exactly sure how useful this would be in practice, but it's unsettling all the same.
posted by S.C. at 7:43 PM on October 19, 2005

I've read this somewhere before.
posted by LeLiLo at 7:44 PM on October 19, 2005

Quite unsettling. I guess I never really expected much privacy when I was making all those copies at Kinko's, where I pay with my credit card, for crying out loud, but now I'm looking at the printer sitting innocently above my monitor and wondering what it knows and who it plans on telling.

On preview, guess I should switch threads. Thanks, q.
posted by PhatLobley at 7:47 PM on October 19, 2005

Wow. Now, this is impressive.

Also, quonsar is back!
posted by delmoi at 7:48 PM on October 19, 2005

This has gotta be a first. A double post followed immediately by its triple. Wow.
posted by MrMoonPie at 7:49 PM on October 19, 2005

This being, of course, the perfect example of why one might want to track copies.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 7:51 PM on October 19, 2005

I guess if they both started around the same time, they'd each do a search on the post, and then finding no earlier post, each would begin their masterpiece. The slowest typist is an idiot.
posted by Ironmouth at 7:59 PM on October 19, 2005

Welcome back quonsar, sincerely.

Also, It's Raining Florence Henderson, Very good point, (laughs)
posted by Peter H at 8:02 PM on October 19, 2005

posted by The Jesse Helms at 10:39 PM EST

posted by vodkadin at 10:27 PM EST

12 minutes earlier. Maybe the net is slow in TJS's area. Or maybe he, like me, is one slow two-finger "typist". See ironmouth's similar comment that suddenly mysteriously appeared on Preview for an example of this principle.

And mr_crash_davis' post was on November 22, 2004, and since the article is gone from Yahoo I can't tell if it had anything to do with the EFF or not.

Jus' sayin'.
posted by davy at 8:06 PM on October 19, 2005

Howdy there again quonsar!

Computers and all their self tracking applications are making me more nad more nervous.
posted by Balisong at 8:07 PM on October 19, 2005

"mr_crash_davis' post was on November 22, 2004"

posted by mr_crash_davis at 8:09 PM on October 19, 2005

Ahh but can they track a copy of my xeroxed A$$!!! Huh..huh..can they?!


Can they?!???
posted by Mr Bluesky at 8:12 PM on October 19, 2005

From a commenter on engadget:

Posted Oct 17, 2005, 7:06 PM ET by Johnny Chimpo

Nothing new here. This finger printing has been around for as long as I've worked in the office products industry. (over 10 years at a competitor to big X)

It's no secret at all in this business that all color printers and copiers implement this to prevent counterfeiting, most people in the business can even tell you what's encoded on the page.

Thanks, EFF, for uncovering what could be found out with a phone call.

posted by jikel_morten at 8:15 PM on October 19, 2005

Good thing q is here to help us discover those hidden gems from the past.
posted by blacklite at 8:16 PM on October 19, 2005

jikel_morten, that person missed the point. They knew the fingerprinting existed. The significance is that they've deciphered the information contained within said fingerprint.
posted by omarr at 8:22 PM on October 19, 2005

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