Mishmeres Hasholom – Ask the Rav

Q: At my workplace, I have email (totally filtered, of course, allowing only email access). From time to time, I receive a message about a memory card that was found and, in order to identify the owner, the sender attaches some sample photos from the card.

Is there any problem here, from the aspect of hilchos bein adam lachaveiro, since perhaps the owner of the card may be hurt in some way by the posting of these photos (that is aside from the question of tznius when photos of women are posted.

Or, if the finder is careful to choose photos that do not appear to be sensitive — would it be permissible so as to try to return the lost item to its owner?

A: Any rational, intelligent person who has lost the memory card from his camera will be willing to have a few of the photos on it exposed and circulated in order to get his card back. Therefore, it is permissible for the finder to send a few sample pictures so as to try to identify the owner.

The finder should make every effort to choose photos that are unquestionably modest and that do not expose any private details the owner would feel uncomfortable showing others.

The questions and answers above were taken from the Mishmeres Hasholom pamphlet in Israel. For details and inquiries please e-mail us at office@hasholom.org or call 972-2 5379160.

The views expressed are of the individual author. Readers are encouraged to consult their own posek for guidance.

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