U.S. Postal Service Again Honored as 'Most Trusted'

Ponemon Institute Asks Consumers to Rank 74 Government Agencies







Apr 07, 2008, 01:00 ET from U.S. Postal Service

    WASHINGTON, April 4, 2008 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The premier
 privacy trust study in America has named the U.S. Postal Service the "Most
 Trusted Government Agency" for the fourth year in a row.
 
 
 
     More than 86 percent of the 9,000 Americans surveyed by the Ponemon
 Institute ranked the Postal Service first among 74 agencies as the one that
 is best able to keep their information safe and secure. The Postal Service
 has increased its privacy trust score every year since the survey began
 four years ago.
 
 
 
     "We have a 230-year tradition of trust. Americans depend on the
 security of the mail and they trust the Postal Service to protect their
 privacy," said Delores Killette, vice president and consumer advocate. "Our
 employees work hard to maintain that trust. They earned this honor and
 recognition for their contribution to the value that trust brings to the
 organization, and to the country."
 
 
 
     Killette attributed the number one ranking, in part, to the trusted
 relationship Americans have with letter carriers who deliver mail to every
 home and business six days a week. They know their letter carrier by name.
 Carriers are a welcomed and trusted member of the local community, she
 said.
 
 
 
     "Because of this, the Postal Service truly is not a 'faceless' agency.
 Consumer confidence in the mail is a top priority for the Postal Service
 and its law enforcement agency, the Postal Inspection Service," Killette
 said.
 
 
 
     The survey asked 9,000 Americans, selected at random, to rank 74
 federal agencies based on the agency's ability to handle and protect
 personal information. Questions ranged from factors creating trust in the
 agency and the levels of confidence consumers have in the agency to protect
 their information, including information provided on websites, to limiting
 the amount of information collected.
 
 
 
     "The government requires citizens provide detailed personal information
 in order to deliver many services. But this does not absolve public
 agencies of the responsibility to protect that information," said Larry
 Ponemon, chairman and founder of the Ponemon Institute.
 
 
 
     The survey shows that those agencies with the most public interaction
 -- and demonstrate a healthy respect for maintaining public trust -- have
 always scored well over the years, Dr. Ponemon said.
 
 
 
     Survey respondents also listed worries they had about how the federal
 government uses their personal information. News items continue to
 influence consumers' attitudes toward trust. Both Customs and Border
 Protection and the Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration are among the five
 least trusted agencies in a year when political debate surrounding
 immigration policies made headlines, he said.
 
 
 
     But the largest privacy concern, the study shows, is "loss of civil
 liberties and privacy rights," with 57 percent of Americans listing this
 concern first. About 56 percent listed "surveillance into personal life"
 and almost half (47 percent) said "monitoring of email and Web activities"
 were their top privacy concerns.
 
 
 
     More than 40 percent listed identity theft as their top concern, up
 from 29 percent in 2007, with most citing concerns with the secure websites
 and the Internet. According to the Federal Trade Commission, mail accounts
 for only 2 percent of all identity theft. But for the Postal Service, even
 2 percent is too much. In February the Postmaster General sent a letter to
 every address in America that included a brochure on preventing identity
 theft.
 
 
 
     "Since we conducted the first privacy trust study in 2004, the results
 suggest that a large proportion of Americans do not trust the federal
 government's privacy commitments," Dr. Ponemon said. "Yet, the trust
 Americans have in the Postal Service continues to grow every year."
 
 
 
     Copies of the 2008 Privacy Trust Study of the United States Government
 are available by contacting the Ponemon Institute at
 http://www.ponemon.org.
 
 
 
     An independent federal agency, the U.S. Postal Service is the only
 delivery service that visits every address in the nation -- 146 million
 homes and businesses. It has 37,000 retail locations and relies on the sale
 of postage, products and services to pay for operating expenses, not tax
 dollars. The Postal Service has annual revenues of $75 billion and delivers
 nearly half the world's mail.
 
 
 
     Ponemon Institute, LLC is dedicated to advancing responsible
 information and privacy management practices in business and government. To
 achieve this objective, the Institute conducts independent research,
 educates leaders from the private and public sectors and verifies the
 privacy data protection practices of organizations in a variety of
 industries.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

SOURCE U.S. Postal Service
    WASHINGTON, April 4, 2008 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The premier
 privacy trust study in America has named the U.S. Postal Service the "Most
 Trusted Government Agency" for the fourth year in a row.
 
 
 
     More than 86 percent of the 9,000 Americans surveyed by the Ponemon
 Institute ranked the Postal Service first among 74 agencies as the one that
 is best able to keep their information safe and secure. The Postal Service
 has increased its privacy trust score every year since the survey began
 four years ago.
 
 
 
     "We have a 230-year tradition of trust. Americans depend on the
 security of the mail and they trust the Postal Service to protect their
 privacy," said Delores Killette, vice president and consumer advocate. "Our
 employees work hard to maintain that trust. They earned this honor and
 recognition for their contribution to the value that trust brings to the
 organization, and to the country."
 
 
 
     Killette attributed the number one ranking, in part, to the trusted
 relationship Americans have with letter carriers who deliver mail to every
 home and business six days a week. They know their letter carrier by name.
 Carriers are a welcomed and trusted member of the local community, she
 said.
 
 
 
     "Because of this, the Postal Service truly is not a 'faceless' agency.
 Consumer confidence in the mail is a top priority for the Postal Service
 and its law enforcement agency, the Postal Inspection Service," Killette
 said.
 
 
 
     The survey asked 9,000 Americans, selected at random, to rank 74
 federal agencies based on the agency's ability to handle and protect
 personal information. Questions ranged from factors creating trust in the
 agency and the levels of confidence consumers have in the agency to protect
 their information, including information provided on websites, to limiting
 the amount of information collected.
 
 
 
     "The government requires citizens provide detailed personal information
 in order to deliver many services. But this does not absolve public
 agencies of the responsibility to protect that information," said Larry
 Ponemon, chairman and founder of the Ponemon Institute.
 
 
 
     The survey shows that those agencies with the most public interaction
 -- and demonstrate a healthy respect for maintaining public trust -- have
 always scored well over the years, Dr. Ponemon said.
 
 
 
     Survey respondents also listed worries they had about how the federal
 government uses their personal information. News items continue to
 influence consumers' attitudes toward trust. Both Customs and Border
 Protection and the Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration are among the five
 least trusted agencies in a year when political debate surrounding
 immigration policies made headlines, he said.
 
 
 
     But the largest privacy concern, the study shows, is "loss of civil
 liberties and privacy rights," with 57 percent of Americans listing this
 concern first. About 56 percent listed "surveillance into personal life"
 and almost half (47 percent) said "monitoring of email and Web activities"
 were their top privacy concerns.
 
 
 
     More than 40 percent listed identity theft as their top concern, up
 from 29 percent in 2007, with most citing concerns with the secure websites
 and the Internet. According to the Federal Trade Commission, mail accounts
 for only 2 percent of all identity theft. But for the Postal Service, even
 2 percent is too much. In February the Postmaster General sent a letter to
 every address in America that included a brochure on preventing identity
 theft.
 
 
 
     "Since we conducted the first privacy trust study in 2004, the results
 suggest that a large proportion of Americans do not trust the federal
 government's privacy commitments," Dr. Ponemon said. "Yet, the trust
 Americans have in the Postal Service continues to grow every year."
 
 
 
     Copies of the 2008 Privacy Trust Study of the United States Government
 are available by contacting the Ponemon Institute at
 http://www.ponemon.org.
 
 
 
     An independent federal agency, the U.S. Postal Service is the only
 delivery service that visits every address in the nation -- 146 million
 homes and businesses. It has 37,000 retail locations and relies on the sale
 of postage, products and services to pay for operating expenses, not tax
 dollars. The Postal Service has annual revenues of $75 billion and delivers
 nearly half the world's mail.
 
 
 
     Ponemon Institute, LLC is dedicated to advancing responsible
 information and privacy management practices in business and government. To
 achieve this objective, the Institute conducts independent research,
 educates leaders from the private and public sectors and verifies the
 privacy data protection practices of organizations in a variety of
 industries.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 SOURCE U.S. Postal Service