Wednesday, October 4, 2017

USPS “Informed Delivery” Is Stalker’s Dream

Brian Krebs (via Hacker News):

The service, dubbed “Informed Delivery,” has been available to select addresses in several states since 2014 under a targeted USPS pilot program, but it has since expanded to include many ZIP codes nationwide, according to the Postal Service. U.S. residents can tell if their address is eligible by visiting


Once signed up, a resident can view scanned images of the front of each piece of incoming mail in advance of its arrival. Unfortunately, because of the weak KBA questions (provided by recently-breached big-three credit bureau Equifax, no less) stalkers, jilted ex-partners, and private investigators also can see who you’re communicating with via the Postal mail.

Perhaps this wouldn’t be such a big deal if the USPS notified residents by snail mail when someone signs up for the service at their address, but it doesn’t.

I wanted to sign up my post office box so I would know how urgent it was for me to check it, but apparently the service is not available for businesses:

Informed Delivery is a consumer-facing feature that gives eligible residential consumers the ability to see a daily digital preview of their household’s mail. While the Informed Delivery product is available for most addresses, it is not available for all. Eligibility for Informed Delivery is dependent on your current registered address and verifying your identity online.

As a business user you are not eligible to participate in the Informed Delivery program. If you want to participate, please create a new USPS account and register as a personal user.

I then tried to sign up my home address but got the error:

Unfortunately, we could not verify your identity online.

You may complete the identity verification process in-person by selecting the Opt-In button below.

It wanted me to verify my identity in person at a post office 43 miles away, in another state. However, I tried again and that time the online verification worked.

Update (2017-10-05): Daniel Jalkut:

I find it a little creepy that they show images of my mail in the unencrypted email to me, didn’t even think about somebody else getting it.

The e-mail includes the images as unencrypted attachments.

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