UPS announced today it is expanding its policy to require customers who ship packages from its retail shipping locations — The UPS Store and Mail Boxes Etc. — to present a government-issued ID for verification of identification.
Consumers who ship through any retail access location and do not already have a pre-printed shipping label attached will have to present a government-issued photo ID or they will not be allowed to use UPS services. The ID policy has been in place at UPS Customer Centers since 2005, according to a UPS press release.
Normally, I'd rail against any measure that inconveniences me, let alone requires an ID to use a service. If I am willing to pay for a service, isn't that enough? But this is the new normal, and I commend UPS for doing what it said it was going to do: continue to review its security measures and adopt best practices as necessary.
Ever since the public protests of airport pat-downs — which turned out to be isolated incidents — there's been a lot of media coverage about security measures. In a recent Newsweek, there was a column written by a former security consultant for Israel's airline system. The gist of the article was, technology is good, but it is no replacement for looking someone in the eye and assessing behavior. Yes, this can be seen as profiling. Let's explore that another day.
The electronics supply chain ships a lot of cargo, and by necessity that's mixed with parcels sent by non-businesses. So whether I like it or not, checking ID is an appropriate measure to take to secure cargo — as long as it is part of an overall security system, which UPS says it is.
“Since retail centers experience a significant increase in business from occasional shippers during the busy holidays, this enhancement adds a prudent step in our multi-layered approach to security,” says Dale Hayes, UPS vice president of small business and retail marketing. “The safety and security of our customers, business partners, and employees is our highest priority, and UPS will continue to implement additional security precautions as necessary.”
Valid forms of identification in the US, according to UPS, include a current state-issued driver's license or Department of Motor Vehicles ID card, US or foreign government-issued passport, US Permanent Resident card, US military ID, or a Native American Tribal photo identification card. Qualifying documentation may vary by country at international retail locations.