QR codes keep showing up all over broadcast news. But why? Aren’t QR codes a little risky to use? That’s what some think. But Flowcodes can connect with viewers and keep their information secure at the same time. A chance to share more information and build trust with the community simultaneously. This has been the goal for Flowcode from the beginning and they let you know they value the people accessing their codes in a simple effective way, with a smiley face.
Why does Flowcode have a privacy URL in their codes?
The privacy URL, or “privacy smile” (as it’s known internally), means a lot more than just a friendly approach. It helps consumers identify that a code takes a lot more steps than QR codes, from the first click.
Nik Thompson with Flowcode explains it this way. “That smiley face links to a URL code stating consumer's privacy rights. We say right away what we are and are not using.” In fact, you cannot see the information the Flowcode links to until you have seen the privacy code. Here’s a breakdown animation of how this works.
Why privacy for QR codes is important
QR codes are asking viewers to trust you since they require the viewer to “let you into” their world, by accessing the cameras on their phone. While that might sound a bit cheesy, our phones carry our lives in them including banking information, contacts, and business emails. That’s why the European Union and the United States have developed and continue to look at data protection. Flowcode comes with privacy built-in to meet GDPR and CCPA standards. The direct link can help eliminate recent concerns being raised over QR code security.
For example, when Coinbase took a leap of faith with its Superbowl ad featuring just a
QR code on the screen, it asked viewers to do the same. So many people trusted the code — so much trust that all of the scans crashed the website briefly. Critics immediately brought up concerns over QR code safety. Again the main issue is what the QR code can really track from the viewer once it's clicked on. And more importantly…who the QR code company shares that information with.
Flowcode not only tells consumers their privacy rights immediately but also has taken steps to make the codes themselves more secure. Thompson states “We go further and already selectively take information to prevent data leaks.” How? Thompson says “We partnered with one of the most secure cloud options.” And there’s more. Flowcode purposely leaves out the middleman. Company CEO and founder Tim Armstrong says “It takes you directly there with no stopping off at any large internet companies” this is called a Walled Garden and that’s an important term to know and understand. It means broadcast companies can limit how much the viewer gives up and to whom when clicking on a code in a newscast. It keeps the user in particular areas that allow access to some material only. Journalists can look to Slack as an example. Many are using Slack to communicate in this COVID hybrid work age. A Walled Garden helps set up a solid user base, that gives stations what they really need in this digital age, the ability to potentially grow revenue through users who collaborate on the station's app and/or digital platforms.
Utilizing QR Codes for TV Stations
Again, it's key to note information gained would be for the station and consumer only, not for a third party to profit on. Think of it as a simple back and forth. A selling point that can be marketed for the station itself. Another point Armstrong makes is “We have patented designs, which work on different environments, better than QRs work.” They have better systems in place to monitor the data received and have it make sense for the TV station to then better serve the viewer while protecting the viewer’s privacy. Armstrong sums it up as “Really what privacy is, is the trust that you as an end-user are using a product and that data is only gonna get used for specifically that interaction with that product.”
So Flowcode informs consumers of privacy rights, takes extra steps to ensure privacy, doesn’t sell data to other vendors, and works hard to help build trust. Or as Thompson puts it “How Flowcode differs? We protect you.” And with a smile.