May 29, 2012 (RARC-WP-12-011)

A new paper released by the Office of Inspector General examines potential roles for the Postal Service in the online environment. The U.S. Postal Service is well-positioned to fill these roles by virtue of its history, reputation for trustworthiness, and vast nationwide infrastructure. The paper, Digital Identity: Opportunities for the Postal Service, describes current gaps in today's digital marketplace and the need for stronger identity authentication procedures together with increased privacy protection for users. Enhanced digital identity authentication would allow new eGovernment and eCommerce applications.

For example, acting as a Trusted Third Party, the Postal Service could verify individual or business attributes (characteristics) such as mailing addresses. It could offer its own digital identity service as a provider. With its network of post offices and carriers, the Postal Service could also build on its current passport offering, which provides in-person verification service. For more information on these potential postal opportunities, download the full report below.

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