Scott Alan Miller

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Xerox Gives Away Customer Identities

Shame, shame on Xerox for tattling on their customers. Turns out that Xerox got caught by the Electronic Frontier Foundation putting secret tracking codes onto every piece of paper being printed on their colour laser printers. This code tells anyone who cares to look on what printer the paper was printed. Now, the theory is that this is used to track people who are producing counterfeit money. But lets be reasonable. Counterfeiters do NOT use things like laser printers to make false currency. What a ridiculous way to try to scam the system. But what really does come of this is that regular everyday people who are printing things at home are not being tracked. This is America. A country founded on "Common Sense" - the pamphlet not the real thing. What if you could no longer make political or religious statements without being tracked down? More importantly how is this going to affect people trying to start democracies or support churches in other countries where those things are illegal? Now those goverments can track down all of those unwary "revolutionaries"? Apparently Xerox doesn't want Christian churches in Pakistan or free elections in China. They don't want them enough to put the lives of their paying customers on the line for it. I am picking on Xerox because they were the first to get caught but there are many other printer manufacturers doing the same thing like Dell, HP, Brother, Epson, etc. I am truly offended that these companies think so little of their customers. It would be one thing if these companies were clearly making it known that they were providing this tracking information and that it was only (we think that it is only) on colour laser printers and not on black and white printers which cannot be used at all to counterfeit currency. But since there is a rumor that this technology is being used to track things like copied papers who knows what all devices are doing this now. I think that the public deserves some answers. Xerox refused to talk to the media today claiming that they could not disclose any information about what they are involved in for security reasons. Security reasons! They might be selling information about their customers to anyone and everyone and their only answer is silence! How many missionaries or governmental visionaries might die at the hands of evil governments because Xerox helped anti-democratic regimes track them down? Could America have ever been founded if our founding fathers had every note that they wrote or had printed marked so that could have been identified? Xerox has made a strong statement about how they feel about our freedoms. Individuals freedoms as well as those of society. They also are giving Samuel Adams, Alexander Hamilton, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, et al a big slap in the face. Well, here is one technologist that won't be doing business with Xerox and one Rochestarian that is embarrased that they are located here in our city.

This article is a reprint of the original found on Sheep Guarding Llama.


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