The New York City Council approved a bill last month that will make it mandatory for city agencies that have inspection, permit, license or registration information online to post a quick response code by next year that links to the online source.This will allow anyone with a smartphone to scan the QR code and automatically have access to the agency’s data.
City agencies will have one year to comply with the new bill. The new law coincides with a recent ruling that requires city-approved agencies to have all public data available online by 2016.
“Let’s give any New Yorker the chance to get all publicly accessible data associated with a city permit just by scanning it with their smartphone,” Dan Garodnick, a council member who sponsored the bill, said in a press release. “The technology exists, and we need to make sure that the city is keeping pace.”
Andrew Moesel, a spokesman for the New York State Restaurant Association, said he is optimistic about the law’s long-term effects.
“I don’t know that [the new law] will have an impact in the short term,” Moesel said. “But it should at least encourage the Board of Health to pay more attention to accurately updating their websites. We’re all for transparency.”
Restaurants will not need to post the QR code on the letter grade, which is required to be posted at the front of the restaurant.
Other affected businesses include day care centers — the Department of Health maintains a list of all the certified centers on its website — and construction sites.
Since February 2011, the Department of Buildings began printing QR codes in the corner of their approved permits, allowing civilians to look into any recent code violations and to see the details of the permit.
Gallatin freshman Tori Holbrook said she does not feel this new regulation will make much of an impact.
“I’m not sure anyone will really use [the QR codes],” Holbrook said. “Yes, I notice when a restaurant has a [bad rating], but that has never stopped me from going there.”
Alex Pastron is a contributing writer. Email her at email@example.com.
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