Did the US Postal Service share private customer information with unions?

A lawsuit filed by the union group Americans for Fair Trade (AFFT) alleges that the US Postal Service may have shared the private information of as many as 68 million households with unions. The data was collected by users who requested a free Covid test.

Joe Biden advertised his “free Covid tests” and encouraged tens of millions of Americans to sign up. The required form included asking for a full name, email address and postal address. Since consumers wanted to get the kits, the information was likely to be accurate and complete.

But was this scheme really a mass data collection to help Democrats and unions?

AFFT revealed language unique to the Covid-testing initiative that says the USPS may ‘disclose your information to third parties without your consent,’ including ‘labor organizations in accordance with applicable law.’

The policy statement reads in part: (emphasis added) “We do not disclose your information to third parties without your consent, except on your behalf or at your request, or as required by law. This includes the following limited circumstances: to a congressional office on your behalf; agencies and entities to facilitate or resolve financial transactions; auditor of the US Postal Service; for the purposes of law enforcement involving criminal acts of fraud against the postal service; labor organizations as required by applicable law; incident to legal proceedings involving the postal service; as necessary to state authorities in connection with decisions; to contractor agents when necessary to fulfill a business function or provide products and services; and other federal executive agencies pursuant to 39 USC 411.”

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The Daily Mail reports:

Last February, AFFT filed a Freedom of Information Act request with the USPS asking how it obtained this disclaimer that allows the sharing of personal information with labor organizations and requests ‘all records relating to the USPS’s disclosure of information obtained through the COVID- and any labor organization. 19 test web form.’

“The public should understand why the USPS deviated from its published Privacy Act notice only for the COVID-19 web form, but for no other situation,” the nonprofit’s request said.

‘AFFT seeks to learn and educate the public about why and to what extent the USPS would provide labor organizations with sensitive information covered by the Privacy Act.’

At first, the postal service claimed in its response that there were ‘no appropriate records’.

Nine pages of emails between USPS personnel were later released that were so redacted that only the dates and names of the correspondents were visible.

In April, AFFT filed a lawsuit in federal court in Washington, DC, alleging that the USPS conducted an ‘inadequate search’ and made an ‘arbitrary and capricious’ decision not to disclose more information.

AFFT’s lawyer, David Dorey, said postal officials were ‘hiding behind a legal smokescreen’ and ‘walling off’ his clients.

‘Personally, I am not aware of any law that would authorize the post office to give the personal information of Americans to unions. We looked,’ he said.

Dorey is senior litigation counsel for The Fairness Center, a law firm that says it provides ‘free legal services to those wronged by public sector union officials’.

‘They avoid our client’s simple questions: Why does the USPS say it can share Americans’ personal information with union officials without consent, and what has it actually done with that information?’ he added.

‘Why not answer the question? If you haven’t done anything with this information, why don’t you just say so? I would like to know. But instead they hide behind the legal process.’

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