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Printers Spy On You

Printer manufacturers print invisible yellow dots on consumer\’s prints that check to see if a person is printing counterfeit money. If you call your printer manufacturer and ask them to \”please stop spying on you\”, they will send secret services to your address to find out why you care about your privacy. Upset? You should be. The more people who call their printer\’s manufacturers and make this request, the more likely secret services will refuse to investigate.

24 thoughts on “Printers Spy On You

  1. the yellow dots are the serial number of the machine, this security feature is most commonly found on high end digital presses to combat counterfeiting. the dots are printed across the sheet and are hardly “invisible” and can be seen with a good eye or under a loupe.

    not sure if it is possible to disable that feature but you should print counterfeit money on an offset press anyhow, better quality…!

  2. There is no possible way it could be to “spy” on you and what you print. it is a feature on high quality printers. If you had registered the product the yellow dots could be used as a way to trace that product to you. They are a form of a serial number for your specific printer. It is in no way connected to anything other than it puts dots on all your print outs.

  3. As a designer and a layman in the industry i can tell you all to settle this debate that you don’t know what your talking about for a few reasons.
    1) if you print counterfeit money, regardless of the denomination or country of origin it will never ever look anything like real money if you print it on a deskjet or even a high end digital machine (which are the only machines that drop a yellow dot on the stock).
    2) if you want to print counterfiet you have to produce the cash on a higher than 200lpi offset press, with about 8 colour banks (currency is not printed with CMYK or four colour inks)- these machines are worth in excess of 4million, and require a fully trained engineer or industry trained proffesional to operate.
    3) to buy in the paper to print currency onto (which is usually watermarked, microwoven, magnetically embossed and coded by the mint prior to print) you would have to be high up or closely related to the mint. getting your hands on the paper would be next to impossible.
    4) all currency has uv ink. hold a note under a uv light and whatch it glow, you cant do this on a digital machine, let alone a regular offset press.
    5) If you were able to get all of the above mentioned things together, and you were able to print them, you still have to microencode the individual notes, and that database is held under top security.

    so to itterate. The yellow dot being put down by your digital machine means really nothing. and if someone asked me to “stop spying on me” i would not have a clue what they are talking about and i definately be wasting my time calling the cops. I think the author of this article is a little paranoid about nothing.

  4. Marwin you are an idiot. You wouldn’t waste your time calling the cops, you’d rather waste it writing your comment. You must not be doing a very good job of designing your printers if they are accidentally putting yellow dots on everyones paper. I say accidentally because you yourself said they mean nothing.Secondly, counterfeit money is fake, and the steps that you bothered to explain to us happen to be the steps to making real money. the main thing about counterfeit is that it only looks like it, counterfeit money is not microencoded. all counterfeiters try doing is making cash that will look convincible enough to be accepted by a local cashier at a gas station or grocery store

  5. I haven’t heard of printers doing this, but I have a friend who sells photocopiers – apparently some can detect if you try to copy money and disable themselves…

  6. Similar to the statement on photcopiers but Adobe Photoshop knows if you are trying to scan a banknote directly into it, and stops you!

    But there is a way around it..

  7. gary ur right!!! And marwin ur a bit slow i wud say. And if ur so smart and busy wy are u waisting ur time on these websites and steve shurup is spelled shudup. RETARD!!!

  8. Shut Up adam

    If you know better than everybody else than why are you on this site too criticizing everybody else’s comments if you can’t be mature about it than leave this site and don’t return

  9. I didn’t print that anonymous note I didn’t give to that Bank Teller. You can check for yourself if you have a way to do it, hehehe.

    Ah shucks. You can really tell that i actually printed it.

  10. I am a little confused. Whether this is fact or not, why would you care so much about the government monitoring illegal printing if you’re not illegally printing?

    Sure, you don’t want them to ‘see’ what you’re doing nonetheless, but why? This is their job and they’re probably sick of it by now so it’s not like they’re going to personally glamour over your boring business data or family photos. I absolutely understand how it’s a violation of your privacy and I won’t be able to convince you otherwise, but would you really mind that much?

  11. Whether you get into the specifics or not how can anyone make the jump of saying that printing invisible yellow dots on paper is the equivalent of spying… In no way is that an infringement of privacy and it would only cause issue to someone attempting to counterfeit money – so, while the fact itself is interesting, the interpretation of what it means is off.

    P.S. being paranoid about stuff like that isn’t worth your time, and is unhealthy, I can assure you. You can only do stuff about your life , so do what you can to make it better, and let God/Politicians/who or whatever take care of the rest. Thinking I was being “lied” to by everyone and everything nearly drove me crazy when in reality the best thing I could have ever done was what was best and right.

  12. Marwin wrote: #
    As a designer and a layman in the industry i can tell you all to settle this debate that you don’t know what your talking about for a few reasons.

    1) if you print counterfeit money, regardless of the denomination or country of origin it will never ever look anything like real money if you print it on a deskjet or even a high end digital machine (which are the only machines that drop a yellow dot on the stock).

    2) if you want to print counterfiet you have to produce the cash on a higher than 200lpi offset press, with about 8 colour banks (currency is not printed with CMYK or four colour inks)- these machines are worth in excess of 4million, and require a fully trained engineer or industry trained proffesional to operate.

    3) to buy in the paper to print currency onto (which is usually watermarked, microwoven, magnetically embossed and coded by the mint prior to print) you would have to be high up or closely related to the mint. getting your hands on the paper would be next to impossible.

    4) all currency has uv ink. hold a note under a uv light and whatch it glow, you cant do this on a digital machine, let alone a regular offset press.

    5) If you were able to get all of the above mentioned things together, and you were able to print them, you still have to microencode the individual notes, and that database is held under top security.

    so to itterate. The yellow dot being put down by your digital machine means really nothing. and if someone asked me to “stop spying on me” i would not have a clue what they are talking about and i definately be wasting my time calling the cops. I think the author of this article is a little paranoid about nothing.

    Too True

  13. Marwin, you make it sound as if printing counterfeit money is impossible; I can assure it is not, and you don’t have to follow all those procedures to do it; matter of fact, encoding??? what the… dude; why go through the trouble man, just print the damn thing and hand it in to buy you some grub; I assure you, it’s not that hard.

  14. Why automatically assume it is for counterfeit money?
    What about criminal activity as a whole.
    from ransom notes to death threats, having a way to trace the type of printer and what not is another way of getting around hand writting samples.
    people, if up to no good, will often explore other ways to communicate without leaving any ‘direct’ evidence that can link their actions to themself.
    So, if certain printers leave tell tale signs with each print out then that is a good thin if you have someone seeking a ransom for your garden gnome.

  15. The yellow dots on notes are a form of counterfeit using the constellation the EURion http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/EURion_constellation. These are detected by scanners, not printers, to detect if someone is trying to copy money. They are on all GBP notes if you look where the queen should be in the centre and in other places but I don’t know about other currencies.

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