Public unhappy with postal online listing

National 2 minutes, 44 seconds

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

SEVERAL members of the public yesterday expressed dissatisfaction with the Postal Services Department’s recent online Acknowledgement of Receipt (AR) Service Listing initiative, citing privacy and security concerns.

On Friday, the Postal Services Department announced that the listing, posted daily on its website, was meant to notify those expec-ting small packages (weighing less than two kg) from overseas, about their arrival.

The parcels would then be delivered to the recipients’ respective addresses within the next three working days, if they were classified as ‘G’ or ‘green-stamped’ by the Royal Customs and Excise Department.

‘R’ or ‘red-stamped’ packages would still require owners of the small packages to collect them at the Mail Processing Centre (MPC) in Berakas, and be presented to the customs officials on duty as per usual. However, the daily lists, which display parcel recipients’ full names and addresses online, have not fared well among members of the public.

Speaking to The Brunei Times, Barry Wee said that the list was a “breach of privacy” as it would al-low anyone to know where some-one resides.

“If people are cunning enough, (they) could rob houses (with) information like that,” he said.

Wee said that the safest way for people to check whether their parcels had arrived would be by having parcel codes they could input into the system or listing.

“I think just having your name on the list would do, as having your address on is unnecessary,” he added.

Similarly, 24-year-old civil servant Abdul Azim Kassim said that displaying names online was fine, if the initiative was meant to replace the old method of parcel delivery cards.

“The initiative should help quicken the process because my theory with the (old) setup is that our parcels arrive in Brunei but (the postal department) takes time to sort them into categories, then print out the parcel delivery cards and then give it to the postmen who deliver them to us.

“So now if it’s online, then they don’t need to send out the delivery slips and I can just keep checking online and head to the post office when my name is up. It’s also good to have my name in the system in case I lost my delivery slip,” he said.

But, Abdul Azim said that displaying people’s addresses online was obviously a main security concern. “So while the intent to improve the (parcel delivery) service is appreciated, the relevant authorities just need to replace the addresses with a different identification (method), such as Identity Card (IC) numbers or where the parcels came from,” he suggested.

Meanwhile, IT engineer Arvy Petil also said he was not comfortable having his name and full address along with others in plain view online, especially without his consent. “It’s a huge security issue, as it can lead to identity theft cases,” he said.

The Postal Services Department previously said that the AR Service Listing initiative, which began on March 22, will undergo a “trial run” for a month.

“During this trial period, the Postal Services Department will carry out necessary improvements to ensure that this service runs smoothly and achieves its objectives,” the department said.

The department said that it received 160,091 small packets in 2015, a 499 per cent increase compared to 32,103 small packets in 2010.

The Brunei Times