Postcards and privacy

As a letter carrier for the United States Postal Service, no one is reading your postcards here. We really don’t have the time. That said, I have been known to flip them over and admire the image on the front.


From another (prior) US letter carrier - most of the time, there is barely enough time to read the address to make sure it’s going in the right box! No time to get nosey about the message written on the other side! BUT I will admit that I always felt that if it’s not in an envelope, it must be ok to read!
And, I totally agree with the people here like @kissthebeehive who say it’s even liberating to write personal things sometimes on open postcards! I do it myself and it makes it kind of fun!


… here they don’t even have enough time to deliver unregistered mail :rofl:

Thanks for taking this up.

…waiting first for the mail to be delivered & furthermore waiting for some “eyebrow” raisers

Have a good day coming up :+1:t5:

@mamvanvier off topic, but in what store did you find the easter postcards?

@Binkestein84 I got a tip for a webshop: el Papel
And my local bookstore has the most beautiful cards


In my area, English is not popular but my postie knows English, but as far as know all the staff and behaviour of them i can say thry won’t bother to read the any message part of card, they have lots of other work and many mails to sort and deliver everyday

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I’ve also considered this question before. :thinking:
Well usually, I directly place postcards on the counter for mailing (handing them to the counter staff). In my opinion, if I write the postcard in Chinese, they will read it. However, if it’s in English, they might not pay as much attention, although they may still glance at it. The space for writing on postcards is limited, so as long as I’m not sharing any secrets, I don’t mind if they take a look. When I want to write something I don’t want others to know, I usually put it in an envelope. :face_with_peeking_eye:


I mean, I sure mind what I write in my postcards just in case, but it’s not like I’ve engaged in suggestive postcrossing with anyone or like I’m writing my bank info in every postcard I send. If this lady was looking to buy something to send to a family member or to an intimate person, that might be why she intended to buy the envelope. If I sent a spicy postcard to my partner, I’d sure do the same!

That being said, I am not sure if anybody in the post service has time to read the postcards that land in their hands, and even more so in a big city. My postlady, for example, might take a second to check the ones she delivers to me, but that’s because I live in a small place and in a country where most people nowadays rately send letters or postcards. I’ve got the theory that the postlady kinda knows that certain postcards can only be for “this weird lady to whose box I have delivered more postcards in the past 3 months than in the whole 20 previous years”, and if my theory is correct, I sure would take a second to admire the postcard if I was her, but again, I highly doubt anyone is sending me anything that private, so I don’t consider it a big deal

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Could you provide the link for such webshop?

I usually avoid wirte private msg on postcard.In Chinese language, postcards are called “明信片”,明 is light,to public,show the surface.“信” is mail,“片” is card or paper. So,I thought postcard was a type of card that could be viewed by anyone.When the post worker didn’t have too much work to do they maybe read it.I don’t mind they look it.If I have to wirte something and don’t want others to read,I use a envelop occasionally.


I am fine, as long as I don’t see somebody reading my card. I drop it off in the mailbox, and from then on I don’t care who reads it on the way to the receiver.

From time to time I drop the cards off at the counter though, and when the post worker looks at them a bit more closely (more than is needed to check the postage), then I do feel a bit uneasy, even though I often feel proud if I send cards I spent much time on decorating, and I don’t share big secrets on postcards. It just feels a bit like intruding into personal space, like going through someones handbag with them directly there. They get to know stuff about me you usually would only learn in a conversation with me, and they can link everything to me.

About the post worker’s thoughts on the receiver when they get that card- I honestly never thought about that, apart from not writing about sensitive topics to certain countries to not get people in danger.

There is one thing I don’t like though. Even if I don’t care who reads the card while it’s travelling, I do not like the thought of the card being out of the receiver’s hands as an end destination, while it can be still linked to me. For example once I got told by a Postcrosser in their Hurray message that they already had received the same card a few times, so they will give mine away to a reseller, charity, or similar (I forgot). That really felt not right, I was quite taken aback (also that someone would tell me directly that they will give the card away). They did not mention if they would destroy the ID on the card, I just really hope they did so. As others have mentioned in this thread, the card is intended for the receiver, and if they decide it to give it out of their hands (or show/read the message part on youtube) then extra care should be taken that the sender can’t be traced back.



I don’t care!

I keep it simple: I don’t write down anything that I don’t want anyone to know about.
So everything I write on a postcard can be read by postal workers if they have time to do so.


I don’t mind mail carrier reading my postcards. Mail carrier know a lot of stuff about their persons anyway, because of the other mail they are getting. And if they read my cards they are not allowed to talk about it.

But most of them don’t have time to read the cards especially if it’s fully written and may even not have a look at the picture side. They read the address, may notice a stamp design and probably will see something like “Merry Christmas” or “Happy Easter” if it’s stuck out. Some postal workers might even not be able to read the cards, because of the language (German included) and handwriting.

I’d fear more the recipient not being sensitive about privacy. The worst case publishing it somewhere in social media or the internet, so that it’s viewable not only by persons holding it physically in their hand but by others


I agree with you. I’ve always assumed the Post Office reads postcards, but they don’t share them on social media. I don’t want my postcards, message, and definitely not my address on social media. I use a PO Box, but still!


I’m sometimes writing some personal stuff onto Postcrossing cards if I’m in the mood for longer texts. My handwriting is quite broad so I mind the space given. I don’t mind postal workers /mail staff reading what’s written… There’s a lot of exchanges all around the world every day, so one message among millions of messages easily gets forgotten again. I don’t write my return address onto the card though. The recipient gets more insight into daily scrips of life if sometimes it’s something personal. The stressed word here is always “sometimes” and “something”, not “always” and “everything”. #mamvanvier thank you for this contribution.

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