Thick Response Codes

Back in 2013 I posted about Clr. Pirri’s motion for the Town of Aurora to explore and adopt Q.R. Code technologies:

Pirri’s motion failed due in a large part to Councillors taking the Town’s Communication Manager’s input at face value. Something that has been proven to be very loosely based in reality.

The reason I’m revisiting this issue is due to the fact that it was raised at the recent Aurora Historical Society AGM where the town’s newly hired curator touched on her desire to explore technologies including Q.R. codes.

She then remarked that she has been dissuaded after conversing with the Town’s Communications manager over fear that Q.R. codes are ripe for being hacked.

Which is

Unitag, a tech start-up in Toulouse provides some clarity here:

The whole process behind QR Code ‘switching’ or ‘code-jacking’ as it is called in Japan requires the printing of a new code of the same size and sticking it physically over the old one.

The amount of effort is considerable, and it is hard to envision it being used in the scenario scene in this strip from the brads:

I have a huge problem with a municipality discounting a technology outright and then perpetuating a culture of fear around it when it has been adopted and put to a wide variety of innovative uses in the private sector. Especially one that has enshrined “innovation” as a principle of it’s own strategic plan.

In fact, if security was even remotely an issue why did the town implement them to advertise their mobile waste app as far back as 2012:

Even the Town’s 2015 “my waste calendar” uses them:

Proving there’s little consistency in the town’s communications efforts that we are spending gobs of $ on.

I haven’t heard of any specific incidents of Q.R. codes that have been compromised anywhere in the province that would suggest high-risk.

Heritage and curatorial applications for Q.R. codes are plentiful, and from what I’ve seen been implemented with great success. Even the Doors Open Ontario 2013 brochure included a QR code, so what does that tell you.

Given the technology of Q.R. codes has matured over the past 4 years it is anything but innovative. That said it can be put to innovative uses.

As I’ve come to expect from the town’s communication department response is anything but quick.

If council is serious about getting things done that support an “Exceptional Quality of Life for All” then Clr. Pirri’s motion needs to be re-scanned, and quickly.


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