Monday, July 14, 2008

Privacy Issues: Worrying about Laser's Yellow Dots

My editing pal Mindy Lawrence sent me this information that should concern everyone but especially writers. She says, "It's getting more and more Big Brotherish around here. True, we aren't doing anything that the government should perceive as "wrong", but novelist write a LOT of things that are over the edge. Geez!"

Here's what she is referring to: According to USA Today "More manufacturers are outfitting greater numbers of laser [color] printers with technology that leaves microscopic yellow dots on each printed page to identify the printer's serial number — and ultimately, you . . . "

The dots are invisible but can be seen with a special light by authorities like the Secret Service to investigate counterfeit bills. All good so far. But privacy advocates think that this technology could also help "snare political dissidents, whistle-blowers or anyone who prints materials that authorities want to track."
Here's the URL if you want to see the complete USA article. http://www.usatoday.com/tech/news/surveillance/2008-07-13-printer_N.htm?csp=34&POE=click-refer
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Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author of This Is the Place; Harkening: A Collection of Stories Remembered; Tracings, a chapbook of poetry; and two how to books, The Frugal Book Promoter: How To Do What Your Publisher Won't and The Frugal Editor: Put Your Best Book Forward to Avoid Humiliation and Ensure success. She is also the author of the Amazon Short, "The Great First Impression Book Proposal." Some of her other blogs are TheNewBookReview.blogspot.com and AuthorsCoalition.blogspot.com, a blog that helps writers and publishers turn a ho-hum book fair booth into a sizzler.

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