Postal ID plan creates privacy fears

Wednesday, 13 August 2003, 12:29 AM EST

The report, released last month by the President's Commission on the U.S. Postal Service, issued numerous recommendations aimed at reforming the debt-laden agency. One recommendation is that the USPS "aggressively pursue" the development of a so-called intelligent mail system.

Though details remain sketchy, an intelligent mail system would involve using barcodes or special stamps, identifying, at a minimum, the sender, the destination and the class of mail. USPS already offers mail-tracking services to corporate customers. The report proposes a broad expansion of the concept to all mail for national security purposes. It also suggests USPS work with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to develop the system.

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