Post box to inbox

Published: Monday 30 November -0001

-- (Credit: DIVYA)Swiss citizens can now do away with tiny letter boxes in their houses. The Swiss Postal Service has tied up with an IT company that will scan the envelopes of all letters and e-mail them to clients for a fee. The clients can select the letters they want to read, and have them opened, scanned and e-mailed to them. They can also archive their scanned letters or ask for unopened letters to be sent to other addresses or be shredded.

The technology partner, US-based Earth Class Mail, has thousands of individual subscribers worldwide. This is the first time it has licensed its technology to a postal service.

The advantage of such an arrangement is subscribers do not miss snail mail when away from home, nor do they have to inform their post office each time they change address. It will also cut the clutter; after all people do not want everything in hand, in paper. But they do want privacy. Online identity theft is not uncommon.

Earth Class Mail's chairperson Ron Weiner claimed their technology is "extremely robust" and there has never been a case of breach of security. Employees did not have access to mail that had been opened and scanned and the digital images were encrypted, he said.

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