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Impact of Scrambling on Barcode Entropy

Vans, Marie; Simske, Steven J.
HP Laboratories


Keyword(s): Security printing, security, payload density, barcode, DataMatrix

Abstract: Security barcodes and other barcodes linked to on-line databases have become commonplace due to the increased availability of mobile phones equipped with high quality cameras. In this paper, we provide methods for quantifying the entropy of the embedded barcode data, assuming methods other than the standards-specified error correcting code (ECC) approaches can be adopted. Higher entropy, which reduces the likelihood of a fraudulent agent being able to "guess" correct barcodes, is measured directly using a variety of novel algorithms and applied to large sets of barcodes. Our data, however, show that removing ECC provides the additional advantage of increasing the entropy. Thus, all other settings (data payload size, printing technology, substrate used, etc.) being equal, eliminating the ECC increases the security of the information content for the barcodes (DataMatrix) tested.

23 Pages

Additional Publication Information: To be publishing in Journal of Imaging Science and Technology

External Posting Date: May 6, 2011 [Fulltext]. Approved for External Publication
Internal Posting Date: May 6, 2011 [Fulltext]

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