Privacy Friendly QR-Code Scanner

The Privacy friendly QR Code Scanner App allows to use your smartphone in order to scan and decode QR codes. The app belongs to the group of Privacy friendly Apps. The Privacy friendly QR Scanner App also allows to scan barcodes and supports the following formats: Text, product codes, phone number, SMS, Email-Address, Email, contact information (e.g. vCards), URL and WiFi information.

Our Privacy friendly QR Scanner App differs from other QR Scanner apps availiable in the Play Store with respect to three aspects:

1. The Privacy friendly QR Scanner App only requires the minimum amount of permissions:

  • In category "Camera/Microphone": CAMERA
    The camera is used to scan QR Code.
  • In category "Other": VIBRATE and FLASHLIGHT
    The vibration is used to provide feedback if the scan was successful. The flashlight is used to support the camera in reading the QR Code successfully in bad lighting conditions.

Please keep in mind, that the Google Play Store only shows the categories of the permissions. Therefore for the permission CAMERA the category Camera/Microphone is displayed, while the app solely used the camera, not the microphone.

Most of the QR Code scanner apps available in the Google Play Store need several permissions on top of the ones needed: e.g. reading contacts or your call log and retrieving data from the internet. Most of these requirements are not necessary for the functionality they actually are supposed to provide. For an overview and comparison of the Privacy friendly QR Scanner App with other available ones.

Figure 1: The diagram shows how many apps use a certain amount of permissions (x-axis: amount of permissions; y-axis: amount of apps) [retrieved at 19.04.2015]

2. The Privacy Friendly QR-Scanner App supports its users in detecting malicious links:
QR Codes provide new possibilities for an attacker, as QR Codes can contain malicious links, i.e. links to phishing webpages or webpages from which malware would automatically be downloaded. Therefore it is important to carefully check the link before accessing the corresponding webpage. Since it is difficult for the user to spot malicious links, the Privacy friendly QR Scanner App supports the user by highlighting the domain (e.g. www.secuso.org). To avoid not checking the link carefully, the app provides information about possible fraud and its users need to confirm that they checked the link and it is trustworthy.

Please keep in mind: The warning shown after scanning an URL is not customised for every URL, because the app does not have access to databases or similar sources, used to differentiate between harmful and harmless URLs. Hence, it should be considered as an advice for the user how to behave in general.

3. The Privacy Friendly QR-Scanner App completely relinquishes advertisement.
Many other free apps in the Google Play Store dazzle annoying advertising and also shortens battery life.

Download app

We offer several ways to download the app:

  • Official Google Play Store (Feel free to provide feedback, see contact. We would be pleased to receive a positive rating if you like the app )
  • F-Droid Store (The F-Droid Store is an open source software store where you can download the APK-file of the app. Apps installed that way won't receive any updates, unless you regularly download the newest version from the F-Droid website or use the offical F-Droid Store App).
  • A flyer with information about the app is available here.
  • If you are interested in the development of apps or the source code, you can find it at GitHub.

Test our QR-Code Scanner

Below we provide some QR Codes to test the app.

This QR Code contains a link to a website.

This QR Code contains contact information.

This QR Code contains a WiFi key.

Screenshots

Contact

For questions or comments regarding the App do not hesitate to contact Karola Marky.

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