Information Collected and Stored Automatically
We automatically collect certain information about your visit to usps.com. We limit the data collected to meet specific business needs and to fully protect your privacy. We thus may know what path(s) you took on usps.com, but we don't know who you are. Except for authorized law enforcement investigations, we do not use this information to identify you personally without your express consent.
We automatically collect and store the following information about your visit:
General log information—Internet domain (for example, "xcompany.com" or "yourschool.edu"); Internet Protocol (IP) address; operating system; the browser used to access our Web site; the date and time you access our site; and the pages that you visited. Additionally, we collect information that identifies the software acting on your behalf (i.e., your user agent) and the device that you are using if you access the site through a mobile or wireless network. We use the information to help us make usps.com more useful to visitors. We use it to learn about how locations on our site are being used, what information is of most and least interest, and to ensure usps.com can interface with the types of technology our visitors use. We also use the information to tell us of any possible site performance problems and to identify, prevent, or mitigate the effects of fraudulent transactions.
Referral and statistical information where we have links or ad banners to or from usps.com. Such data may include aggregate data such as the number of click-throughs that occurred. It may also include specific data, such as whether you are a repeat visitor; whether you visited a page with a banner on it or clicked on an ad banner and then used our site (for instance, to register or make a purchase); the value, date and time of any sale; and the identity of the site which you linked to or from usps.com. We collect this information to know which links and banners are effective. For example, this allows us to determine which ads may be of most interest and to help us control how many times a specific ad is displayed.
How Data Is Collected - Cookies and Other Web Analysis Tools
We understand that you may have questions about Web technology and information that is collected as you surf or conduct business online. The Postal Service has very strict policies about Web analysis tools. Such tools include what are known as cookies and Web beacons.
The Postal Service uses a third-party analytics provider (currently Google Analytics Premium) to analyze data from cookies. The third-party analytics provider does not receive personally identifiable information through these cookies and is prohibited from combining, matching or cross-referencing usps.com information with any other information. We have also limited the provider's ability to see your full IP address (a process known as "IP masking"). Please refer to Google Analytics security and privacy principles for more information.
The Postal Service strictly limits the types of analysis tools allowed, the data collected, and how long the tools last, in order to best serve your business needs and also safeguard your privacy. The types of Web analysis tools we use are fully explained below, and in the attached letter from the Postmaster General.
Postmaster General's Letter on Cookie Usage PDF | HTM
Cookies may be categorized as session or persistent, which describes the length of time that they stay on your system. Both session and persistent cookies are used on this site. The following are detailed descriptions of how we use these cookies.
A session cookie is a small piece of textual information that a server places temporarily on your browser during the time your browser is open. The cookies are erased once you close all browsers. We use session cookies in the following manner:
Log-on and log-off administration—If you decide to register with our site, so as, for example, to use one of our online services, session cookies help with the log-on and log-off process. The cookies enable us to recognize your log-on ID when you log on so that we do not establish a duplicate registration record for you.
Transactions and site usability — We use session cookies to improve how you navigate through usps.com and conduct transactions. As examples, session cookies are used to maintain your online session as you browse over several pages; to store and prepopulate information so that you do not have to reenter the same information twice; to enable the postage rate calculator; and to retain your shopping cart information. Session cookies may also be used to collect referral statistics when you click on a link or ad banner to or from usps.com.
A persistent cookie is a small piece of text stored on your computer's hard drive for a defined period of time, after which the cookie is erased. We do not collect or link to personal information through persistent cookies without your express consent. We use persistent cookies as follows:
Site usage measurement—Our site measurement tool uses a persistent cookie to assist us in measuring how and when our Web site and its various components are used. It functions as a "visit cookie," so that we can determine if you are a repeat visitor to our site. This allows us to know if we are attracting new visitors and what aspects of the site seem most useful. The cookie will expire 30 days after your last visit.
Log-off safety function—The USPS uses a persistent cookie to automatically log you off of usps.com if there has been no activity for 15 minutes. This is done for your safety to ensure that, if you have finished using our site, but have forgotten to log off, no one else can use your computer via your log-on and password. The cookie is permanently removed from your computer when you log off, or, if you have closed the browser without logging off, it is removed within 15 minutes from your last activity.
Opt-in cookies—Persistent cookies allow us, at your request, to recognize you when you return to usps.com, or to remember certain information that you have provided us. The recognition feature allows you to log on to usps.com automatically, without having to enter your name and password each visit. The cookie assigns a random number to you, which we link to personal information you have provided and your purchase history. This allows us to personalize the site for you and tailor the content to your needs, for instance to show you other products you may be interested in. Other cookies allow us to remember certain information related to prior transactions, such as package tracking numbers, or mailing or address lists, so that we may prepopulate those fields for you on return visits. These features and cookies are strictly at your option and for your convenience. We will also present you with a convenient way to remove the cookies, via where you manage your account, if you decide later that you want to terminate one or more of these functions. The cookies will expire one year from your last visit.
Ad banner cookies—On behalf of the USPS, persistent cookies and beacons (described below) may be set and managed by third party advertising suppliers to support ad banners. Ad banner cookies are set when you view or click on an ad banner on usps.com, or an ad banner on another site for a USPS product, and persist for no more than five years.
A Web beacon, also referred to as a clear gif or page tag, consists of code on the USPS site that delivers a small graphic image from another Web site or third party server. They may not be visible as the beacon is generally a 1x1 pixel that is often designed to blend into the background of a Web page.
We use beacons, often in conjunction with cookies, to monitor the effectiveness of ad banners; and to gather general log, statistical, and referral information. We do not use beacons to store or link to personal information. We thus use beacons to understand certain actions that you took (such as a purchase), but not to know who you are.
Third Party Web Analysis Tools
The Postal Service does not allow Web analysis tools to be used by third parties, except for service providers who help us in performing site analysis or providing a particular product, service, or advertisement. Service providers may use session cookies, just like the USPS does, solely to improve the use of the site. Service providers may only use persistent cookies and beacons if specifically approved by the USPS, which uses must comply fully with this policy.
Data Derived from Web Analysis Tools
We are careful to safeguard any data derived from cookies and beacons. No data derived from session cookies, or from the log-off persistent cookie, are retained. Data derived from other persistent cookies and beacons are retained behind the USPS firewall or a secure firewall of our service provider.
Opting Out of Web Analysis Tools
If you still have concerns about cookies, you may choose to opt out of their use.
Ad banner cookies – You can opt out of ad banner cookies, without erasing or altering other cookies. If you opt out of these cookies, we will no longer track any information from ad banners related to a specific user's visit. By clicking below, you will be taken to a third party site that explains how to opt out.
Click here to learn how to opt out of ad banner cookie.
Opting out of all cookies – You may choose to opt out of the use of all cookies. You will still be able to access most features of usps.com. However, certain features may not work as well or may be unavailable to you. You will not be able to register or purchase from usps.com because we need cookies to keep track of your shopping cart and to process your transaction.
Click here to learn how to opt out of all cookies.