As contact-free deliveries become commonplace, many companies are using photographs of the package as their proof of delivery documents to eliminate the need for a signature. Taking a photo to show the location and state in which a package is delivered helps to provide peace of mind to the recipient. They get confirmation that the package is received in good condition, without contact. The company doing the delivery also has proof of where a package was delivered to help provide better customer service.
But are there privacy concerns regarding the use of photos for this purpose? If the photos are not kept secure, it is possible that they could be used for nefarious purposes. Photographs with too much identifying information could be used to locate a specific person. Additionally, there are laws regarding the right to privacy, and these photographs are usually taken on private property.
So what should be done to limit the concerns about privacy and security when using photos as proof of delivery?
It is important for companies that are using photos to train their delivery drivers to take photos appropriately. Photos should focus on the condition of the package, with some features that help the recipient to know exactly where the package was left. However, they should avoid taking photos that include address information, or anything that could directly identify the person or company receiving the package. This would include the address label or even the house number of a residence.
Consent and opting out procedures
Any company that is serious about protecting its customers should have the option for the customer to opt-out of photo-capture if they so choose. Privacy statements should be clear and available for any package recipient to view.
The company that is taking the photos should ensure that they are kept secure. For example, drivers who use Elite EXTRA can take photos, but they are removed from the app upon successful upload to the servers. Links to the photos expire after a configured amount of time so the photos are not available to the general public. Additionally, Elite EXTRA users can delete any or all stored photographs upon request. These practices help to provide security and peace of mind to Elite EXTRA users and their customers. These kinds of security offerings should be available in any tool that utilizes photos as proof of delivery documents.
Using photographs is a new method of doing business that brings up a whole new set of concerns. However, with a little training and good security measures, they can be used to the greater benefit of the company and the recipient.