Finland Postal Service Will Open, Scan and Send Mails Electronically

Postal service in Finland, it seems, has had enough of sending postmen out in freezing temperatures and on long routes. In order to be more time and energy efficient, they will now open the letters, scan them and send them electronically to recipients. Currently, the program is in a trial mode and 126 households and 20 businesses are participating.

The message would be sent to a secure digital mailbox that can only be accessed by the original recipient. An email and mobile phone alert would also be sent informing the recipient about new mail. The exercise of opening and scanning the mail would take place in specially secured premises where the staff is bound by confidentiality obligations.

The program aims at reducing CO2 emissions and the number of employees used to distribute mail in the scattered population of one of the coldest countries in the world. The trial program starts on April 12th and will continue through the end of the year. However, despite all the claimed social, economical and environmental benefits, the program is being heavily debated by people who think that it would compromise the privacy. People are going as far as to suggest that this program will be used to spy on the confidential communication.

Do you think it will work in Finland or elsewhere in the world? Or is it too impractical due to privacy and other issues?

2 thoughts on “Finland Postal Service Will Open, Scan and Send Mails Electronically”

  1. I had a friend who worked at a photo mini-lab in a large store. He said he and his colleagues often kept private copies of all the ‘juicy’ photos they processed. Unless the envelope-opening and scanning process was fully automated, or the penalty for breaching privacy were really high, I don’t think I’d trust the snail-mail-to-email process.

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