Privacy: How to prevent tracking with ‘Superhuman’/marketing emails
This is important, particularly since Mike Davidson’s report explaining how an email app was using embedded images inside messages to track people’s response.
Shut their eyes
This isn’t unusual.
Marketing companies have used tiny embedded and invisible images in emails to track response to those messages for what feels like forever.
“As soon as you open an HTML email that loads images from an external web server (all of them do), your Internet Protocol address (location), date, time, and user agent string (what type of device you’re using) gets sent to the server logs of whatever server the person who sent you that email is using,” Pocketnow explains.
Superhuman is a surveillance tool that intentionally violates privacy by notifying senders every time their emails have been viewed by recipients. I would never trust this company. Only way to make sure your own privacy isn't violated is to disable images in your own email app. https://t.co/JZh2csd0ZB
— Mike Davidson (@mikeindustries) June 27, 2019
What has changed is that this tech is now available to anyone using the Superhuman app – and what makes it worse it that Apple and others pretty much helped make it happen.
You see, around a decade ago most email appsblocked external HTTP requests (such as embedded images) by default in order to protect your privacy.
Now they don’t.
I don’t know why this changed, but I do know what to do.
How to stop people tracking you with email
Here is how to prevent marketing companies and anyone else tracking you using this technique:
Stop them on iOS
- Open Settings>Mail
- Scroll down the page to Load Remote Images
- Switch this to off (it’s on/green by default).
- Problem solved, though you will have to request images within emails manually in future.
Stop them on macOS (Mail)
- Open Mail
- Choose the Viewingpane
- Uncheck Load remote content in messages.
And that’s yet another way to stop the snoops. Here’s some more.