Security Encyclopedia

QR Code (Quick Response Code)

A QR Code (Quick Response Code) is a two-dimensional barcode that, when read by a machine, facilitates the rapid transfer of information. 

Matrix, or 2D, barcodes of this kind generally contain information such as the location of where they are printed, a description of the item on which they are printed or tracking information. Today many QR codes are used with mobile devices and point to a website or open an application. They are also used to assist other processes such as multi-factor authentication (MFA) as well as enrollment or registration in all kinds of services. 

QR Codes were invented in Japan in 1994 to quickly and efficiently track auto components along the manufacturing life cycle of a new car. Since then they’ve grown in their applications as well as in their usage. In the US in 2020, according to Statista, an estimated 11 million households scanned a QR code. That is up from its 2018 national estimate of 9.76 million scans.


"Due to heightened vigilance around contagious diseases, many restaurants now post QR codes around their dining areas so customers can use their mobile phones to pull up an online menu. This reduces high-touch surfaces such as printed menus."