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Post Offices in Germany Will Now Convert Regular Mail Into Email on Request

Post office workers sort international mail in the post office in the Frankfurt airport on Sept. 21, 2017. - Boris Roessler—picture alliance/Getty Images
Post office workers sort international mail in the post office in the Frankfurt airport on Sept. 21, 2017. Boris Roessler—picture alliance/Getty Images

Customers would need to forfeit privacy rights

Germans can now start getting their post delivered to them via e-mail, CNN reports.

Under a new digitization pilot program, customers can opt to have their mail “e-scanned,” meaning their mail will be opened and scanned, before it is sent to them online.

The scheme aims to bring the national mail service more in line with a digitized world. Like many mail services, the Deutsche Post has struggled to stay competitive amidst the tide of e-mail, CNN reports.

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But in seeking to boost convenience, especially for customers wanting to receive their mail while traveling, the “e-scan” service may also prompt a host of privacy and data security concerns. The digitalization program would require “e-scan” customers to waive their right to privacy, CNN reports.

The “e-scan” service currently only applies to postcards and letters. Larger items will still have to be collected in person.

Until July, the “e-scan” pilot will be available at a promotional price of about US $5.74 per month, according to CNN.

In its own digitization quest, the U.S. Postal Service launched a program called “Informed Delivery” in 2017 that allows customers to digitally preview their mail. Unlike the Deutsche Post’s pilot, the USPS service only scans the exterior of letter-sized mail, however.

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