Postmaster General letter on cookie usage

January 23, 2008


SUBJECT: Privacy Policy-Cookies and Web Analysis Tools on

We hope that you enjoy visiting and using to obtain information, buy stamps, use on-line services, or just browse. We strive to make it the best possible experience and to bring you valuable and convenient products and services. For over 200 years privacy and security have been at the heart of the USPS brand. We have thus worked hard to ensure that our on-line practices meet or exceed privacy standards for both government and industry.

We know that you may have questions about Internet technology, and you may have heard about Web analysis tools that may collect and/or store information about you. Rest assured that the Postal Service has put extraordinary care into all aspects of our privacy policy, including limiting tools to meet strict business needs while ensuring that your privacy is protected.

I have approved the use of the following tools for the limited purposes described below and in our privacy policy on

  • session cookies for improving the use of our Web site. We may use session cookies to support transactions, logging on and off the site, and computing postage for you.
  • persistent cookies for the following limited purposes: 1) to log you off of if you have not been using the site in order to prevent unauthorized use; 2) to gather non-personal usage statistics such as how many new, repeat, and total visitors use our Web site; 3) to support advertisements or promotions; and 4) to recognize you or your information on a return visit, but only if you have expressly told us you want to be so recognized.
  • limited use of Web beacons to: 1) help us measure and increase the effectiveness of promotions on, or of USPS-related promotions on external sites: and 2) to gather general log, statistical, and referral information on

As described in our privacy policy, we do not allow Web analysis tools to be used by third parties, except for contractors aiding us to provide products, services, or advertisements. We hold these contractors to the same rigorous privacy standards that we follow.

Any further change to this policy requires a thorough review by my Chief Privacy Officer and my own final approval. Any such change will be posted in our privacy policy prior to implementation.

Thank you for visiting It is our pleasure to continue to serve you.

John E. Potter