NO THANKS: USPS Asks for Digital ID Database: Report

May 23rd, 2022 7:48 PM

The United States Postal Service asked for an expanded role in digital identity verification. 

Reclaim the Net reported that the Office of the Inspector General at the USPS released a report pushing for the agency to have a greater role in biometric data and identity verification. 

The USPS wants to expand its passport services program to provide verification for other government agencies in addition to the State Department. 

Reclaim the Net added that the agency plans to help other agencies verify people's personal information by giving them a “confidence level” that someone lives at a specific address, for instance:

“[T]he report proposes that the USPS could provide online name and address validation to government agencies by providing these agencies with a “confidence level” that a person lives at a specific address. The USPS notes that this confidence level could be generated by querying national databases such as the USPS’s Address Management System (AMS), the National Change of Address (NCOA) database, and the USPS’s Informed Delivery database.”

The report also pushes for the expansion of its “Informed Delivery” service, which has 47 million subscribers, into a digital ID verification service, according to Reclaim The Net. “Informed Delivery” shows a user the incoming mail expected for the day at a specific address. 

A copy of the inspector general report can be found here

NewsBusters reported last year that the USPS sought to expand surveillance on the American people:

“The surveillance program, known as the Internet Covert Operations Program (iCOP), centers around hired analysts who review social media accounts for ‘inflammatory’ posts to share across government agencies.”

Not surprisingly, the USPS defended the surveillance program.

“The U.S. Postal Inspection Service is the primary law enforcement, crime prevention, and security arm of the U.S. Postal Service,” a statement to Yahoo! News said. “As such, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service has federal law enforcement officers, Postal Inspectors, who enforce approximately 200 federal laws to achieve the agency’s mission: protect the U.S. Postal Service and its employees, infrastructure, and customers; enforce the laws that defend the nation's mail system from illegal or dangerous use, and ensure public trust in the mail.”

“The Internet Covert Operations Program is a function within the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, which assesses threats to Postal Service employees and its infrastructure by monitoring publicly available open source information,” the statement added.

According to the Yahoo! News report, the agency declined to discuss the “protocols, investigative methods, or tools” it uses.

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