Saturday, 9 April 2011


OK, my address is not too secret as it is listed on companies house, but clearly some people try to protect my privacy on-line.

So shows my address like this, showing house number, obscuring street name, but showing full town and postcode.

I wonder why, as they know it is me they are showing it do anyway, but do they not understand that a postcode in the UK narrows it down in most cases to a street or part of a street, e.g. 20 to 30 houses, so obscuring the street address is totally pointless?

So WTF do they do it?


  1. They show your house number too, and so surely 43/RG42 1FJ identifies your house uniquely?

  2. Because they're idiots.

    Took me all of 3 seconds to find the street name from that info. If I'd been an evil person I'd already have enough to write impolite letters.. :p

  3. That is the point I am making!

  4. Probably because americans are trapped in an antiquated postal code system that has no validation capability. I'm in Canada and love postal codes though I'd never given thought to the full security implications.

  5. At the end of the day, if it ever becomes a security risk people knowing where I live then I have done something horribly wrong (or possible very very right) and steps will be taken. I suspect I would have my own postcode in such cases that is a P/O Box, and convince C/H to use it too.

  6. I regularly address myself as sender on postage by using only the house number and postcode ... its all thats really needed in the uk to deliver to the exact door/postbox

    in most cases a postcode will narrow it down to a complete building, be that a row in a terrace of houses or as in our case mostly individual pairs of semi-detatched houses sometime it may be a group of houses say a tiny new build estate that's been squeezed into some ridiculously tiny space or it can (but not often) even be a single detatched house ... so my postcode is either me or my direct attached neighbour ... a 50/50 chance of hitting the target just by knowing the postcode

    actually the postie would prob deliver the letter correctly if you put zaw m16 on it hehe (its been done before !!!)

  7. Yes, they'll be used to US zip codes that refer to an area as vague as RG42

  8. They're thinking in US zip code terms; a 5 digit ZIP code is equivalent to the first half of a UK postcode (so the famous 90210 is equivalent to something like M1).

    A full post code is equivalent to a ZIP+4, which identifies an area no larger than a single delivery route at most; often, a ZIP+4 is a single building or street.

    Unfortunately, the traditional "post codes for Americans" explanation doesn't make it clear that the full postcode (RG42 1FJ) is equivalent to a ZIP+4, not an original ZIP code.