Which Emails Quietly Track You?



From Wired.com: The article discusses the use of tracking pixels -- those one pixel graphic images that allow the sender to know that you both received AND opened the message. Once the tiny, hidden (just plain invisible) single-pixel image is loaded, it reports back to base. "Report" is a misnomer IMO as there is no script or function required for this to work. The web server log will show every image sent to the user so using email encoded in HTML (rather than simple, 'ugly plain text') and the sender has tracked you.

Tracking pixels can report the times and dates their associated email was opened, as well as the location of the device used, and the email client involved. That's a lot of data to feed back to a third-party that you might not know much about.
This is ALL in the web server log!!

Stopping Tracking Emails:
Blocking images in an email client blocks tracking pixels
select Ask before displaying external images
uncheck Load remote content in messages

open-source Ugly Email : an extension for Chrome and Firefox that works with Gmail in your browser

Trocker is another impressive free extension for Chrome and Firefox, and as well as working with Gmail, compatible with Yahoo and Outlook webmail. Email will be marked with a small T icon in the subject header when you open the message. You can also identify tracked links inside messages, and block them if necessary.

Details are in the article link at the top.
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Posts: 17   +0
You are right, this has been a concern for a long time. Here is how to stop it once and forever,without changing provider, or other major changes:
- use a open-source email client, e.g.Thunderbird
- it comes with jscript disabled on ALL emails
- go to the config editor, disable jscript on RSS feeds,
- and set referers to OFF.
For instructions find the corresponding articles for Firefox (about:config ...) and use them in TB.
If you want to be extra safe, set menu view > message body as > plain text, and TB will not even call out to any links any more.

If instead you insist on using Gmail or the like, well ... that's everybody's own choice.