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Monday, August 27, 2007


In an InformationWeek article, a class-action lawsuit was filed against the U.S. Postal Service for allegedly selling employees’ personal information to marketing companies in violation of the U.S. Privacy Act. The 1974 law prevents federal agencies from sharing employee information. It is the same law that many other government bureaucrats are circumventing when they buy consumers’ private information from data brokers like ChoicePoint and Acxiom to spy on innocent Americans. The action was filed on behalf of all postal employees, and over 100 USPS workers joined the lawsuit four days later. It is almost like all agencies and departments of the federal government have taken the same attitude, joining the “Bush Bunch” in thinking that they can treat the citizens of this country any way they please. The lawyers are attempting to stop the USPS from giving out the private information, and in a surprise move, at least to me, “recover the money USPS received through the co-branding agreements.” Apparently these arrangements are set up with marketing companies that allows them to use the Postal Service logo on the junk mailings, which obviously offers authority and endorsement. The mailings sell everything from cell phones to credit cards, and USPS receives compensation from these sales. Postal Regulations 148 Part 268 even states that the USPS and its employees cannot release any private information to any person or organization without the individual’s consent. Should this happen, a plaintiff has the right to recover damages from the Postal Service. Now if the postal employees have a right to the revenue made from the sale of their personal data in this incident, then it appears that a precedent might be set, and the junk mail customer certainly has their rights of recovery from the sale of their names and private information. I will certainly keep you posted on this case.

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