Finnish Post: How not to (not) handle bounces

The NetPosti service of the Finnish Post is one of the most offensive parties to illegally handle outdated and erroneous personal data. They’ve finally woken up. Sorta.

In a recent document, the Finnish Post services tell us that

Netposti on päivittämässä asiakasrekisterinsä sähköpostiosoitteistoa. Tiedoissamme oleviin toimimattomiin osoitteisiin ei 1.12.2013 jälkeen yritetä toimittaa sähköpostitse ilmoituksia. Päivittämällä Netpostin asiakasrekisterissä olevan sähköpostiosoitteesi ajan tasalle varmistat, että sinulla on mahdollisuus vastaanottaa Netpostin lähettämiä sähköposti-ilmoituksia. Sähköpostiosoitteen päivitys tapahtuu Netpostin ’Omat tiedot ja lähettäjät >Yhteystietosi’ -osiossa.

Netposti is updating the email portion of its customer file. Addresses we know of that are not working will not be mailed to after December 1. By updating your email address in our customer file you can make sure that you will still continue to receive Netposti notifications by email. You can update the email address in Netposti’s “My own information and senders” -> “Contact details” section.

What is wrong with this?

  • Outsourcing the responsibility for not handling outdated and erroneous personal information to the data subjects.
    • The responsibility is with the registrar in all cases according to the Personal Data Act.
    • The customer may be unable to update the information. It must be given that the Finnish Post ought to have an unusually good grasp of customers who have left this world, for example, since they have direct access to the population file.
  • Customer addresses that are outdated but no longer non-functioning (addresses that have been repurposed as spamtraps) will not be automatically removed, so spamtraps will continue to receive interesting information about who (complete names, including middle names) is getting notices from interesting senders such as collection agencies, healthcare providers etc.
  • By posting this notification and specifically warning customers that non-functioning addresses will now be removed, NetPosti is implicitly acknowledging that they have been processing outdated and erroneous personal data through their negligence since their inception in 2001.

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