We occasionally receive questions asking whether the data we retain on behalf of our clients qualifies as Personally Identifiable Information (PII), and overall, how data is protected.
What is personally identifiable information (PII)?
While there is no single definition of PII, in general the term refers to any data that can be used to identity a specific person. For example, social security numbers, driver’s license numbers, passport numbers, bank account numbers are frequently sighted as PII. Names and addresses are less often sited because they are data shared by many people. In order to be considered PII names and addresses generally must be combined with other data that to identify specific individuals. In technology, IP addresses and login IDs are sited, as well as user’s device names.
Information We Collect
When you sign up for a SimpleCertifiedMail.com account, you will be asked to provide certain information, such as your name, company name, address, email and telephone number, as well as bank account, credit card or debit card information used for the payment of USPS postage, USPS fees and our fees. All of this information is kept confidential and stored on secure servers.
Do the addresses that SimpleCertifiedMail.com turn into cover sheets and labels constitute PII?
Our Security and Compliance Officer has stated that since the address information retained by our service cannot be associated with other data elements retained in our service, the information is not considered PII. In addition, we have no visibility as to the content of the letters that are mailed using cover sheets or labels generated by our service. All we receive in order to generate the Certified or First Class Mail cover sheets and labels are the return and recipient addresses.
While using the SimpleCertifiedMail.com service, our servers automatically record information that your browser sends. These logs may include information such as login and logout times, IP address, browser type, the date and time of your request and one or more cookies that may uniquely identify you.
When you input the names and addresses of your USPS Certified Mail® recipients on our web site, that information is saved on our servers. In addition, when you communicate with our staff through the SimpleCertifiedMail.com website and/or service, that information is saved in order to process your inquiries and respond to your requests.
We offer some of our services in connection with business partners who link our services with their own. SimpleCertifiedMail.com cannot be responsible for the privacy practices of websites operated by third parties that are linked to our website or service.
Protecting Your Data
We take every precaution to ensure the security of your data while using the SimpleCertifiedMail.com service. We use industry-standard firewalls, secure web servers (https), data encryption and authentication procedures, among other techniques, to maintain the security of your data and your online session.
Using the Information
We may use the information you provide to fulfill your requests for our services, to respond to your inquiries about our services, and to offer you other products or services that we believe may be of interest to you.
We may use your personal information to create anonymous data records or aggregations of data, to perform statistical analyses and for other purposes, by removing information that makes the data personally identifiable to you.
The United States Postal Service requires that we have address information for all active clients.
We do not retain any banking information in our system. All bank account and credit card numbers are immediately transmitted to our service provider, Forte Payment Systems. They return a secure encrypted token that is used to process any transaction. This is the same process required by all ACH and Credit Card processors.
The funds you deposit with SimpleCertifiedMail.com are maintained in a separate Trust Account by the Branch Banking & Trust Company (BB&T) and are covered by a Fidelity Bond. Your account administrator manages the account.
We may use or disclose your information to respond to subpoenas, court orders, or legal process, or to establish or exercise our legal rights or defend against legal claims.
If we believe it is necessary, we will share your information in order to investigate, prevent, or take action regarding illegal activities, suspected fraud, situations involving potential threats to the physical safety of any person or the security of our network or services, or as otherwise required by law.
We may transfer your information to a third party in connection with a sale or acquisition of SimpleCertifiedMail.com of all or substantially all of its assets, or in connection with a merger or corporate reorganization.
Any data you submit while using the SimpleCertifiedMail.com website or a SimpleCertifiedMail.com service belongs to you. If you ask us to delete your account, we will make commercially reasonable efforts to remove all of your data from our servers. Despite such removal efforts, portions of your data may remain on our production and back-up servers indefinitely.
If you have any questions or concerns about our collection, use, or disclosure of your information, please email us at email@example.com