Gmail Changes Mean People Know Emails Are Read

GmailMany people question whether someone has read an email through Gmail. With the know-how, it is possible to check this, but Google protected its users. However, Gmail has made some changes so that people will now know when emails are read. Of course, it still requires a little technical know-how on the user’s part.

The recent changes are all to do with the images. Before, images would not load automatically and people had to click a button asking Google to display the image. Now, the images will be cached on the Google servers, meaning that they can be opened automatically. According to the tech giant, this is a good thing. People will spend less time on their emails, so they can get on with the things that they need to do.

However, there are privacy concerns. Before, the images were stored on the third-party servers and there was just one call-back to the host server. This simply told the host server that Google had sent the image out. However, now Google will automatically make a call-back to the original server, every time an email has been opened. This is something that many other email servers already currently do, but Gmail is now the main free email server for the public around the world.

There is a catch to the Gmail changes, meaning people know when emails are read. The main one is that all emails have to be read via the internet. Many people now opt for their emails to be sent to their phones, or they will read them through local clients, such as Microsoft Outlook. Those who read through these clients will have their privacy protected.

Another way around this catch is that people can choose to turn the change off. Like many Google changes, this is not a compulsory one. It is possible to go into the settings and then choose not to display any external content. This will stop all types of external content from being viewed, not just images.

The good news is that the images will only be visible if Google deems the email safe. It will still scan all messages to make sure there are no viruses or malicious material. Anything the tech giant deems malicious or unsafe will have the external content disabled, so the message to view the image will appear at the top of the screen again.

Keeping the images from appearing automatically is not just a privacy risk. There are also issues for those on a metered connection, such as those using mobile internet connections. It takes longer and more bandwidth to load images, which could lead to higher costs for the internet. If the images are not crucial, it may be worth opting for the text only.

Internet marketers may use other methods to get more information about someone. Many use these methods so that they can gain more information about their prospective leads and turn them into buyers. However, the changes made by Gmail that allow images to be displayed automatically means that marketers will know when people have read their emails.

By Alexandria Ingham

Wired

Ars Technica

LifeHacker

One Response to "Gmail Changes Mean People Know Emails Are Read"

  1. joey   February 8, 2014 at 8:08 am

    I’m glad to know that google is working on changing mean people!

    Reply

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