Post Office Violates Privacy Rights


As I was purchasing a bottle of wine with some food items, the checkout person at the grocery insisted on scanning my Driver’s License, even though I was obviously old enough to be her grand-father. I realized then that the Right to Privacy was in trouble. But what really got me going, later that day, was the discovery that the Post Office had given my home address to unauthorized persons.

I recently moved from one state to another, and directed the Post Office to forward my mail to the house of a relative, so I could continue receiving it, while I stayed in a motel, and looked for a home. After finding a place, I went online to my cell phone site to update my address, and was shocked to discover they were listing my relative’s address as mine, even though I had not given them that address, and was not in fact living there.

I called the phone company and asked how they got that address. The customer service person said he didn’t know at first, but after speaking with a supervisor, he explained they obtained it from the Post Office. The Post Office had shared my forwarding address with the phone company, even though I had not authorized them to do it. After correcting my address with the phone company, the loss of my privacy still bothered me enough to write about it.

What if the situation had involved a woman who was trying to lose a delusional stalker? By simply giving the Post Office a forwarding address, she would have inadvertently allowed anyone who requested updated information to receive it.

The moral of the story is unless you want to leave an address trail, you cannot give the Post Office a Change of Address Form, since they will share your personal private information with anyone who wants to know where you moved to.

Americans have a right to keep their private matters confidential. While major corporations have always had an interest in securing updated addresses, so they can continue sending junk mail that ends up in the trash as soon as it is received, the Congress should never have given in to them. They should not have authorized the Post Office to release private data. It is sad what has happened to the right to privacy in the Internet Age.

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