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Putting the power back into the hands of the consumers


New York can expect more transparency and power when the City Council implements a new QR Code rule on certain establishments in the city. The City Council have passed a new bill on Monday that requires all restaurants, day care centers and construction sites to prominently display a QR Code that interested parties can scan with a QR Code to access the center or the organization’s licenses and permits.

For instance, if you are assessing a day care center and are wondering if the day care center is up to mark with their standards, all you need to do is to scan the permit’s QR Code to find out more information. If they fall short, it should come up and you can then query the center about it. If you have doubts about a restaurant’s food quality or is wondering if they have been inspected…yup, scan the code is all you need to do.

If you don’t already know what QR Codes are, it is a quick response code that is quite like the standard barcode system that we are currently using on packaging, except that with a QR Code, anyone can scan it with their smartphones, albeit with a downloadable and free QR Code reader.

The plan is in conjunction with the city’s open data laws which says that all agencies are to have their information available to everyone by year 2016. So, this is just the beginning of the implementation plans. By fall next year, all construction sites, day care centers and restaurants are to have their licenses ready to be scanned via a QR Code.

A representative clearly stated that they want to ensure all New Yorkers will have the ability to access the information embedded in the QR Codes. At the point of writing this blog post, the Department of Buildings and the Department of Health are in the midst of posting and making available such information.

Regarding restaurants, the QR Code will not just give you the restaurant’s health grade but it was reported that consumers will also get the chance to check out the restaurant’s inspection history. This will most definitely put restaurant owners on their toes about maintaining a healthy history and help give consumers the assurance and peace of mind when they choose to eat there.

It was also noted that some people were not completely happy with just implementing the change because they wanted the Department of Health to keep their information up to date. Outdated information could do no one any good either.

With instant information and updated data, I am sure it would make New Yorkers much better and more informed consumers.

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