Skip to comments.Gmail Can Now Tell Senders When A Recipient Opens An Email
Posted on 02/12/2014 6:07:13 PM PST by Windflier
If 'read receipts' on emails weren't annoying enough, a San Francisco-based firm has taken the art of tracking emails to the next level.
The Streak plugin lets Gmail account holders monitor which of their sent items have been opened, who opened them, the exact time they were opened and how many times those emails have been viewed since.
It also reveals details about the device used to read the email, and even the reader's approximate location.
Streak is aimed at sales and marketing professionals, and the company calls it a 'Customer Relationship Manager (CRM) in your inbox.'
However, the plugin can be installed by anyone using Gmail on Google Chrome and Safari.
Aside from tracking emails, the plugin can also track stories and keywords, and keep track of bookings made as part of a wedding or other event.
Once installed, users can set Streak's Email Tracking function to be enabled by default and each time they send an email, Streak will automatically track it.
(Excerpt) Read more at dailymail.co.uk ...
FR search function was not working when I searched for this title on the site.
Creepy. I’m having the urge to learn how to write Android apps just so I can write a firewall to defeat this.
I’m guessing this is not a function of gmail itself. Streak probably inserts code that signals back whenever something is viewed. Constant contact and mail chimp already do that cross platform. Every email you’ve already received from mass emailers already tracks all this stuff.
Everything associated with Google is creepy.
Google is Evil.
Wonder if it’ll also tell the sender that any of their crap via Gmail has been auto-shredded by my mail server w/o ever being glanced at ?
This is a plugin that has to be installed on the client? Can’t we just not install it?
Things are getting creepy. Now there are firms that tell you when someone is searching for you, and, of course, they’d also tell others who you might be searching for. So, if you look up phone numbers or addresses of individuals on the net, they might get a report telling them that.
These net companies are connecting too many things that don’t really need to be connected.
It sounds like the services that attach an image or an html tag into the email. Possibly if you disable html in your email it won’t work. I’m not sure what I’m talking about, just a vague memory of something I read. Any sharper knives in the drawer that can tell us for sure?
You did, but I haven't opened it yet :-)
I'll buy that for a dollar!
Correct. It's an add on program.
I gotta get me one of those.
That's the way I understand it, however, anyone who's got this installed and uses Gmail, can tell whether you've opened their mail or not.
Gmail is one of the better programs for letting these services from taking you. It automatically disables them. You have to click view images for these to work.
It should have read, “from tracking you.....”
I agree. It's getting to the point where our every movement will be watched, recorded, and cataloged, every waking minute of every day.
Rage against the machine!
It’s been around for awhile. See spypig.com
I use gmail but accessed through imap and a client that isn’t going to execute code so I don’t see how this would work.
Be nice if that's so, but the article says that this program can tell a sender when someone has opened an email you've sent them. You don't normally need to view images to do that.
There are two schools of thought, who cares, and submit as much conflicting info as possible into the machine.
Yes, this service has been around for a while. My own experience - some time ago - is that it’s clunky and not worth the effort. Maybe they’ve upped their game, but I doubt it.
This article is full of anti gmail hype. It’s a third party add on. Gmail is one of the more secure services for prevention of tracking if you’re the recipient. Don’t enable “view images” in gmail and you won’t be tracked. That’s all it takes.
The way they used to do it was to embed a one pixel image in the email. The server storing the image can tell when the image is loaded.
I did some more research and gmail now uses an intermediary server to send the image back. So there’s another layer of protection that makes it more difficult for the sender to discover your location.
How would it tell the difference between a user opening the message and, say, a spam filter like SpamAssassin doing it?
I figgered people would. Screwgle probably wouldn’t host it in their store though, since it’s for defeating THEIR spying. Have to sell it on your own site.
Sounds like you're ahead of the curve of the average gmail user, but someone more knowledgeable about these things will have to answer the tech end of your question.
I like it. We use it at the Naval Academy and it would be helpful knowing when people get their taskings. I applaud this but really for professional work only. I don’t need to know when my personal e-mails are read.
If your imap client is set to automatically view images, you can be tracked. If you have a way to disable viewing images, you won’t be tracked.
I can see how the “opening the one pixel image” would work, but the system still would not know who opened the message. I could forward a message without reading it or clicking any images and someone else could be opening it.
I'm not a Gmail user, but that's good to know. Thanks!
I can see a digital privacy industry emerging from this widespread, endemic loss of personal anonymity and freedom. We're soon going to be dealing with 'the internet of things', wherein every electronic device is connected and trackable.
I already use Ghostery on my Firefox browser to disable website trackers.
They call it a Read Receipt. It's part of the RFC standard for email, and falls under what are called DSNs (Delivery Status Notifications). These also include Delivery Receipts (a notification that your message was delivered to the recipients mailbox) and Non-Delivery Receipts (NDRs), otherwise known as a bounce notification.
Most email programs allow you to request Delivery and/or Read receipts when you send an email, but that's no guarantee the recipient's mail server or mail client will honor the request and send it.
On a related note, some people think it's great fun to find somone's computer unlocked at work and use it to send an email to "Everyone", and request delivery and read receipts. They immediately get spammed with delivery receipts, and they'll be getting read receipts for days.
Did you mean that for Moonman at post 27?
No, YOU are propagating google hype.
Why? Because Google itself already has everyone who uses gmail (apparently you) agree that google can read your e-mail and use it to advertise to you.
Once google has “read” your e-mail (in other words, anything that passes through their server including replies to from your friends and correspondents) it is free game for saving, analysis, and use by google and whoever it permits to access their records (hrumph, en es aa and similars).
So YOU by using google mail have infected, with the google disease, all your friends who reply to you; because their replies, without their consent, will be sucked up into the gmail vacuum FOREVER to be used as google sees fit.
Friends don’t make friend deal with google or gmail.
You don’t know it apparently, and I am not trying to upset you, but it is actually incredibly rude to use gmail, and it is bad freeping on top of that. I an surprised that JimRob actually is willing to let people use gmail addresses for FR! Just shows their penetration into our society.
I am now beginning to officially refuse to correspond with anyone who uses gmail. So many people I work with use it, so pray for me please!
What program is that screen grab from?
He’s wrong. See post 40.
That’s not new, AFAIK. You could always send a “return receipt” with an email. Is it new for Gmail?
I'll pray for us both, friend. I don't use Gmail, but lots of my customers do, and sometimes my income hinges on them receiving data from me via email in a timely manner.
I'm thinking the client in this case is the email sender who can tell that you, as the recipient have opened it. The recipient can't do anything about it and wouldn't even know that it happened. My concern is that it also shows where you are. Potential to let people know when you are away from your house so the thieves can drop by while you are on vacation.
Sadly that aint me, but I would like to invest in that endeavor.
I never used 'return receipt'. Did that let you know whether the recipient opened the email you sent them?
That's exactly how I understand the article. This is a function that operates from the sender's end, and allows them to know what you've done with the mail they've sent you without your express knowledge.
Very creepy stuff.