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Secure Password Protected QR Codes

secure password protected QR codeWould you like to be able to use barcodes in order to let people quickly get information, but also want to be able to restrict the number of people with access to the data?

One way to do this is to encode your data into an encrypted QR code that can be password protected.

I was reading The Barcode News and came across an article on this very topic and noticed that one of my favorite QR code companies QuickMark just happen to have an on-line tool to create these secure codes.

Of course, this is something I had to try out so I quickly created a QR barcode – the one that you can see here. During the creation process, I was asked for a password.

I then attempted to read the code with several of my iPhone QR apps as well as a Datalogic 2D scanner. The iPhone apps (other than QuickMark) refused to read the code at all and the Datalogic scanner just returned a string of random characters.

The QuickMark app (as one would expect) recognizes the code as being encrypted and asks for the password.

Typing this into the field causes the encoded data to be displayed on the QuickMark screen.

This is rather clever and it is easy to think of applications where this could be used; anti-counterfeit being one that comes to mind.

Obviously for this idea to be used on a large scale, there would need to be a way to create the secure QR codes automatically. The article on The Barcode News suggested that Denso ADC might already be doing this. It would be great if there was a script that could be used with label software packages like BarTender to enable the codes to be printed in real-time.

What do you think? How would you use secure QR codes? Can you read the one I posted? Give it a try and let me know. I’d be really interested to hear of a way to use my label software to make these!

Oh, if you want to scan my QR code with the¬†QuickMark app, the password is “password”.

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  1. Does this QR prompts for a password?

  2. David Holliday says:

    EJ, it does if you read it with the QuickMark smartphone app. I’ve tried a number of other iPhone QR apps and they won’t read it at all (neither will my Motorola industrial scanners)

  3. It’s readable by the Barcode Scanner (Google Play Store) but the got content doesn’t make any sense (because it’s encrypted) and begins with “PE:”… the QuickMark recognises it as an encrypted content like it’s their own thing. So I think there’s not common encryption method, it depends on which reader you use and it has an own encryption technic or not.

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