Within an hour of a KDVR-TV reporter asking postal authorities about a hidden camera, which was positioned to capture and record the license plates and faces of customers, the device was removed.
KDVR Investigative reporter Chris Halsne reported this week that the hidden camera at the Golden Post Office near Denver is owned and operated by the United States Postal Inspection Service, the law enforcement branch of the U.S. Postal Service.
The device appeared to be triggered by vehicles leaving the single lane exit on the post office property.
Halsne reports, a customer first noticed the data collection device around Thanksgiving of 2014. It stayed in place well into January, taking photos through the busy Christmas holidays.
Post Office Managers tell KDVR they were unaware of the device and that the surveillance was not part of the building’s security.
A spokesperson for the Postal Inspection Service declined to address the specific reason for the domestic surveillance, but told KDVR the agency had a “number of cameras at their disposal.”
KDVR reports that the station filed multiple Freedom of Information Act requests with the Postal Service, Postal Inspection Service, and Office of the Inspector General in an attempt to identify the cost and scope of the Postal Inspection Service surveillance program.
None of the agencies could provide a written data retention policy, which would detail how long USPIS could keep the images agents have been collecting from the Golden Post Office camera and other cameras around the Denver area.