The use of forensic markers (often known as 'tags' or taggants) as authenticity agents in currency, document and product provenance protection is gaining increased acceptance. There is now a wide choice to be made from a variety of technologies available from a number of suppliers. What criteria should be employed to aid the selection of the most appropriate technology? This paper will identify by type the range of technologies available. The use of tags and identification markers in all forms of authenticity test is highly dependent upon criteria such as the method used to deliver the marking component and the equipment needed to identify and extract the marking agent during the authorisation process. For instance, the type of marking system that can be effectively used in currency protection will require different attributes to that of a marker that identifies the authenticity of say a pharmaceutical product or the provenance of a precious stone. Such marking systems offer quality results to potential users, all of whom posses their own distinctive needs. However the correct choice will be driven by a decision making process that involves cost, speed of application, ease of recovery and low risk of compromise as well suitability for purpose. This paper will briefly identify the way forensic markers can be utilised in protecting users from various risks such as counterfeiting, dilution and refilling. This paper will also explore the technical aspects of each process with regard to characteristics and components involved in the system and then analyse the suitability of a range of available technologies to address risks on a sector by sector basis.
Non-Impact printing is now widely used for most computer hard copy output applications. In the area of production of valuable documents such as title deeds, negotiable documents, passports, insurance policies and cover notes amongst others the flexibility of utilising this method of personalisation is often taken for granted. The benefits of economy, flexibility and speed tend to mask the risks associated with creating documents in this manner. Because of the ease with which alteration and replication can occur on high value documents, users have to protect material using costly lamination processes or look for other ways of securing the images created. Methods of digital protection have been developed that enable images to be protected by embedded digital fingerprints that are unique and hidden within the image itself. The applications of such devices are widespread and they can also be used as tools to detect the authenticity of products through covert protection on labels and packaging printed by digital, colour non-impact printers such as Indigo & Xeikon. this paper will review some of the products offered and how they can be applied as practical solutions to the problems faced. Also highlighted will be the expected performance requirements of such systems and how they compare with alternative solutions such as 2D bar codes, image scarring and secondary encoding routines.