17:06 18 July 2012
Postmen are being used by the Royal Mail to record the exact position of every address in the country using satellite location devices.
The Royal Mail are being drafted in to update the address databases, effectively spying on the nation to create a technological advantage which could then be sold to information firms such as Google to improve mapping services.
Seen as a sequel to the controversial Street View service provided by Google which saw camera cars prowl the nation, the Royal Mail's plan could help emergency services get to addresses more accurately.
The Royal Mail have stressed that they are not capturing images or personal information however.
Royal Mail’s Keith Jones, who is leading the scheme, said: “For individuals and companies, many everyday activities involve using information which is based on the location of an address.
“The emergency services, satellite navigation systems used by motorists and Smartphone applications use this information.
“Mapping the co-ordinates which are accurate to the front door of addresses across the UK will help improve the accuracy of this information.”
He added: “Royal Mail has a long history of providing location-based information used by the emergency services, Government departments, local authorities and tens of thousands of businesses across the UK.”
Google are currently under investigation by the Information Commissioner over allegations that their service tapped into business and personal homeowners' wi-fi systems to collect internet usage data.
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