A new Senate bill has brought a number of unnerving questions to light regarding quick response codes.
A new Senate bill has been looking into manufacturer and retail QR codes and the way they’re used. The bill will help to determine how specific or vague information can be when a barcode is present.
Many have expressed concerns that quick response codes could be used to shrink transparency, not boost it.
The Senate bill has raised a number of questions that opponents have found to be rather frightening. It will help to determine the amount of information a company can decide not to print on a package label. This, as long as the additional required info is shared via manufacturer or retail QR codes, instead.
Those opposed to the bill have pointed out that there are many ways using quick response codes leaves consumers in the dark. They indicate that the barcodes can be used to hide important product information.
The goal of using retail QR codes is supposed to be the opportunity to share more information with consumers.
Product packaging provides limited real estate for information. Therefore, some manufacturers and retailers would like to use QR codes to expand on what they say. However, when the purpose of the quick response code is not clearly stated next to it, problems can arise.
For instance, a movie poster containing a QR code might not say exactly what will happen when it is scanned. Therefore, consumers scanning it are relatively blind to what they will receive. While they may be directed to a list of local show times for that film, that might not be the case. They could also view a preview for the movie or end up downloading the movie for a fee.
Most people wouldn’t call most of those actions questionable if they knew they would happen upon scanning. However, not all barcodes are labeled with regards to where they will send the scanner.
Now, the U.S. Senate is deciding on the information that must be provided alongside retail QR codes. This will determine how specific or vague companies must be when they add the barcodes to their packages and marketing materials.