Spy pixels in emails have become endemic

Discussion in 'privacy general' started by Bob D, Feb 19, 2021.

  1. Bob D

    Bob D Registered Member

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    https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-56071437
    Hey's review indicated that two-thirds of emails sent to its users' personal accounts contained a "spy pixel", even after excluding for spam.

    Promotion of Hey's services? Perhaps, but doesn't invalidate the analysis.
     
  2. Rasheed187

    Rasheed187 Registered Member

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    Yes, I knew about this. But from what I understood, Yahoo Mail Basic will block JavaScript so I guess it then shouldn't work. BTW, I never heard of Hey before.

    https://hey.com
     
  3. reasonablePrivacy

    reasonablePrivacy Registered Member

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    "Spy Pixels" does not need Javascript to track users.
     
  4. Lyx

    Lyx Registered Member

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    The browser extension Trocker seems efficient against this kind of email tracking.
     
  5. Rasheed187

    Rasheed187 Registered Member

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    OK my bad, then I misunderstood.

    Looks interesting, thanks. Now that I think about it, perhaps such a feature can be added to uBlock Origin.
     
  6. Marcelo

    Marcelo Registered Member

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    If you are already blocking trackers/malware sites using Adguard or ublock, etc., do you really need to do anything else?
     
  7. Trooper

    Trooper Registered Member

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    I have and am a subscriber of this email service.
     
  8. wat0114

    wat0114 Registered Member

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    The pixels are embedded in the email itself. Blocking images or viewing in plain text will work, or even some sort of plug-in to remove pixels, as mentioned in the article.
     
  9. plat1098

    plat1098 Registered Member

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    I know many frown on gmail and rightfully so. But gmail has always blocked most images embedded in emails. Still get some tracking though, particularly around tax-time. I swear, even allowing one or two images is tantamount to opening the floodgates. So, yeah, it should be a justified concern, almost like unfamiliar attachments w/pdf/s.

    image_2021-02-22_195428.png
     
  10. reasonablePrivacy

    reasonablePrivacy Registered Member

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    Most popular e-mail webmail services block remote content and allow user to unblock it. E-mail client such as Thunderbird also blocks remote content by default. You can even install uBlock Origin for Thunderbird.
    Good thing about reading e-mail in standalone client is ability to block cookies. You can't log into webmail without cookies (but it may work to disable third-party cookies), but you can fetch e-mails via IMAP without HTTP cookies. With cookies disabled viewing spy pixel or other remote images limits usefulness of this tracking method.
     
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