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Black-Letter Day

In a swift and aggressive move, the U.S. Postal Service strips homebased business owners of an important privilege.

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This story appears in the July 1999 issue of HomeOfficeMag.com.

The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) says they're combating mail fraud. Opponents say the USPS is punishing its competition--private mail centers. And homebased entrepreneurs? Under a new regulation, you're being stripped of your privacy.

This new USPS regulation requires private mail centers to collect information on renters (two IDs and a traceable number--most likely your social security number) for a USPS database. The crux of the issue? It's illegal for the USPS to collect this data itself, and the burdensome process is expected to cost mail centers $1 billion within the first six months after the regulation's onset. Approximately 70 percent of the 1 million private mailbox renters are people conducting business.

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