Like us, many people dislike the idea of tracking information embedded in every color document they print. Several people have called up their printers' manufacturers to complain and to ask how they might turn off the tracking information. At least one person (who wishes to remain anonymous) was subsequently paid a visit by the United States Secret Service who asked him a series of questions about why he wanted to turn off the dots.
There is no law that requires printer manufacturers to include these dots. Several color printers do not seem to include them at all! There is nothing suspicious or criminal about wanting to privately or anonymously produce color documents. In fact, the ability to speak anonymously is an essential part of our democracy! We have every right to demand color laser printers without this "feature." We have every right to demand that our printer manufacturers to fix their devices. We shouldn't need to choose between our privacy and color print outs.
Let's join together to call our printer manufacturers and demand that they tell us how to turn off the tracking dots. Let's stand up to bullying and interrogations by the U.S. Treasury Department and Secret Service of others who have done the same. If we all stand up together, we can send a strong message that there's nothing wrong with demands to print privately. Together, we can make it more difficult for groups like the Secret Service to bully individuals who do so.
Carefully read the information in this next section and call your printer manufacturer today!
Before you call
Make sure that your printer actually prints tracking codes. The printers that are known to do this are color laser printers -- not color inkjet printers, and not black-and-white laser printers. If you call a printer manufacturer to ask about these other printers, you are likely simply to be told that the tracking technology is not part of your printer.
You can look to see whether your color laser printer is on EFF's list of printers that print dots. That list is not complete, so you might want to double check a printer for yourself if it's not on the list.
You can check for yourself whether your printer prints tracking codes by shining a blue light on a page you printed in color. The dots will appear black and be repeated across the entire page. They're very small, but you should be able to see them if you look closely. You can read more about how to do this on the EFF website.
Questions you might ask your printer manufacturer
- How can I disable the forensic tracking codes that my printer prints?
- If it's currently not possible to do this, is there a software update for my printer that would let me disable the tracking codes?
- If there's no such software update available yet, will you develop a software update to allow me to disable the tracking codes?
- Do you produce any color laser printers that don't print forensic tracking information? Is it possible to exchange my printer for a similar model without forensic marking features?
- Why did you design this printer to print tracking information? Are you planning to do this in future printer models?
- Does my printer include any other hidden features that make it easier for someone to track documents I produce back to me? Are you planning to include such features in future printer models?
Contact information for manufacturers
The lists of printers on this page come from the EFF's list of printers that print tracking dots.
Many of these instructions for contacting printer manufacturers in the US come from the gethuman 500 database.
Affected printers include: HL-2700CN, HL-4200CN
- Technical Support Homepage
- Fax Back Technical Support Call: 1-800-521-2846
- To talk to a human, call 1-800‑284‑4329, press 7, then ignore subsequent voice prompts.
Affected printers include: CLC 1000, CLC 2400, CLC 3002, CLC 4000, CLC 5000+, CLC-iR 3200-C1, Color imageRUNNER C2570, Color imageRUNNER C3100CN, Color imageRUNNER C3200, Color imageRUNNER C3200N, Color imageRUNNER C3220, Color Laser Copier 1150, Imageclass MF8170C
- Canon Contact Page
- Calling Information: 1-800-828-4040
Affected printers include: 3000CN, 3100CN, 5100CN
- Dell Technical Support Links with links to email, phone, and online technical support chat
- To talk to a human, call 1-800‑624‑9896, press 3, and say "agent" at each additional prompt, ignoring messages.
Affected printers include: AcuLaser C900, AcuLaser C1100, AcuLaser C1500, AcuLaser C1900, AcuLaser C3000, AcuLaser C4000
- Epson Technical Support Contacts
- Laser Printers Phone Support: US: (562) 276-4350, Canada: (905) 709-2170
Affected printers include: Color LaserJET 1550L, Color LaserJET 2500, Color LaserJET 2500N, Color LaserJET 2550, Color LaserJET 2550L, Color LaserJET 2550N, Color LaserJET 2600N, Color LaserJET 2680, Color LaserJET 2840, Color LaserJET 3500, Color LaserJET 3550, Color LaserJET 3600DN, Color LaserJET 3700, Color LaserJET 3700DN, Color LaserJET 3700N, Color LaserJET 4600, Color LaserJET 4600DN, Color LaserJET 4600HDN, Color LaserJET 4600N, Color LaserJET 4650, Color LaserJET 4650DN, Color LaserJET 4650DTN, Color LaserJET 5100CN, Color LaserJET 5500, Color LaserJET 5500ATN, Color LaserJET 5500DN, Color LaserJET 5500HDN, Color LaserJET 5550, Color LaserJET 5550DN, Color LaserJET 5550DTN, Color LaserJET 9500, Color LaserJET 9500HDN, Color LaserJET 9500MFP,
- Customer Support/Contact HP Options including chat, email, and phone options
- Call: 1-800-HP-INVENT or 1-800-474-6836
- To talk to a human, say "agent" at each prompt, ignoring messages.
Affected printers include: Infoprint Color 1464 PS3
- Infoprint support resources
- Phone Technical Support: 1-800-IBM-SERV, 1-800-426-7378
- To talk to a human, call 1-800‑426‑4968.
Affected printers include: Bizhub C350, Colorforce 1501, Colorforce 8050, Ikon CPP500E, Magicolor 2200 DL, Magicolor 2210, Magicolor 2300 DL, Magicolor 2300 W, Magicolor 2350, Magicolor 2350 EN, Magicolor 2400 W, Magicolor 2430 DL, Magicolor 2450, Magicolor 3100, Magicolor 3300, Magicolor 5450, Magicolor 7300
- Konica/Minolta Technical Support
- Email Support
- Phone Support:
- United States and Canada: 1-877-778-2687
- Argentina: 08 00 666 1521
- Brazil: 08 00 891 3480
- Chile: 123 0020 2030
- Colombia: 01 800 912 2216
- Mexico: 001 877 778 2687
- Puerto Rico: 877 778 2687
- Unlisted Countries 001 251 445 6242 (not toll-free)
Affected printers include: FS-C5016N, FS-C5030N, FS-C8008, Mita KM-C2230
- Kyocera likes you deith your local technicians and suggests that you find someone near you with the Kyocera's Dealer Locator
Affected printers include: LD238C, LP125CX/LP126CN
- Customer Relations Email
- Send emails and contact Lanier through the Lanier Knowledge Base
- Find your local dealer with the Lanier Dealer Locator
Affected printers include: C510, C752, C752N, C760, C910, C912
- Lexmark support website
- Phone support for color laser printers: 1-800-539-6275
Affected printers include: Workio KXCL-500
- Panasonic Support
- Phone number: 1-800-211-PANA (7262)
Affected printers include: Aficio 1224C, Aficio 1232C, Aficio CL 2000, Aficio CL 3000, Aficio CL 3000E, Aficio CL 6010, Aficio CL 7000, AP 206, Infotec/Danka ISC 2838
Affected printers under the Savin brand include: C3210, CLP35
- Ricoh Contact Information
- Phone information: 1-800-RICOH-38, 1-800-742-6438
Affected printers include: eStudio 210c, eStudio 211c, eStudio 310c, eStudio 311c, eStudio 2100c, eStudio 3100c, eStudio 3511, FC15, FC15i, FC22, FC22i, FC25P, FC25Pi, FC70
- Technical Support Page for information or to find a near-by dealer
- Phone support: 1-800-GO-TOSHIBA
- To talk to a human, call 1-800‑457‑7777 and press 0 at each prompt, ignoring messages.
Xerox (also Tektronix and Fuji Brand Printers)
Affected printers include: DocuColor 12, DocuColor 40, DocuColor 1521, DocuColor 1632, DocuColor 2000, DocuColor 2045, DocuColor 2240, DocuColor 3535, DocuColor 6060, Phaser 790, WorkCentre M24, WorkCentre Pro (all models)
- Xerox Contact Page
- To talk to a human, call 1-800‑822‑2979, and press 0.