At a time when sensitive customer data has become more and more unsafe in corporations the U.S. Postal Service has also shown a sloppy attitude about guarding the privacy of the more than 40 million people who change their addresses every year.
That’s exactly what the Office of the USPS Inspector General found in an audit report this week https://uspsoig.gov/sites/default/files/document-library-files/2014/it-ar-14-010.pdf.
The Inspector General warned that the postal service must step up its efforts to protect individual customer data from unauthorized persons in its National Change of Address service. Failure to do this “could lead to a negative impact on the Postal Service brand.”
That’s corporate-speak for betraying the trust and confidence.
Specifically, the report found that companies licensed to process change of address claims aren’t following guidelines spelled out in the Privacy Act of 1974. Often contracts with those firms don’t always insist on safeguarding sensitive information.
What’s more, a lot of them are using outdated software, the OIG says.
Obsolete software when technology is advancing at almost every day, it seems?
The report recommended that the USPS centralize and tighten up the change of address process,
Another way the postal service is eroding trust is by refusing to deliver mail to people’s front doors as has been its practice since before the founding of this country.
In addition, reports have surfaced that the USPS is seriously thinking of stopping door-to-door delivery in favor of dropping mail in centralized cluster boxes in at least one new housing development in eastern Pennsylvania, according to Lehighvalleylive.com http://www.lehighvalleylive.com/breaking-news/index.ssf/2014/10/us_postal_service_wants_new_de.html
That would reduce mail deliveries in the richest nation on nearly to third world standards. In certain locations in countries like Pakistan, everybody’s mail is dropped in massive piles in town squares once a week. Local residents have to pick through it to find their correspondence.
The USPS defends cluster boxes as a logical way to deliver the mail at a time volume is dropping. But doesn’t the postal service how see this could help lead to reinforcing arguments that the USPS is becoming irrelevant?
Supposedly local residents plan to complain to their local members of Congress about this for whatever good that might do.
The postal service is also reportedly thinking of doing something like this in cities. Just wait till that runs into public resistance.