'Spy pixels in emails have become endemic'
17/02/2021 | news | technology | 561
Email app Hey reveals that two-thirds of the messages it handles contain the hidden trackers.
1
17/02/2021 10:11:38 5 2
bbc
We can see you.........:)
2
17/02/2021 10:11:42 13 7
bbc
This is nothing compared to the total invasion of privacy that is coming. That's the real pandemic.
12
17/02/2021 10:16:40 4 6
bbc
There is no such thing as 'privacy'. It was made up to make you feel safe and easy to control. You're welcome.
27
17/02/2021 10:22:13 0 2
bbc
I really have no idea what you are talking about. What "total invasion of privacy"?
53
17/02/2021 10:27:11 1 2
bbc
Get your tin foil hat on
67
17/02/2021 10:32:14 1 2
bbc
Sounds like a conspiracy theory - the sort that everyone else in the world other than you will need to be in on to work.
3
17/02/2021 10:12:31 6 11
bbc
I'm not sure why this is considered news. Spying and email tracking has been completely endemic for the best part of a decade.
16
17/02/2021 10:14:37 5 1
bbc
I didn’t know ?? but certainly glad I do now.
4
17/02/2021 10:12:33 173 13
bbc
It's quite worrying on many levels. If you've got an Alexa, try speaking out loud about some really random product and see how long it takes for adverts for it to start arriving on your devices.
22
17/02/2021 10:20:50 78 4
bbc
Strangely enough I shout more at my digital devices than the kids, at least the kids do as they are told after a while.......
29
17/02/2021 10:22:29 53 5
bbc
If you've got Alexa you've already lost. You've *paid* for the privilege of having the world's biggest retailer listen to everything that happens in your home.
34
17/02/2021 10:23:03 36 4
bbc
"If you've got an Alexa". There's the problem.
52
17/02/2021 10:26:25 23 8
bbc
If you've got an Alexa then you know what you were getting. No-one else's problem than the owner of the Alexa.
122
17/02/2021 10:47:04 17 2
bbc
What did you expect? Talk to a system run by the world’s largest online retailer.
134
17/02/2021 10:51:50 22 2
bbc
People that get an Alexa know they are connected to a giant marketing campaign, even the set up instructions tell you how to buy stuff.

People that open emails are not generally aware they are being monitored.

That said, Leo of the the BBC could have made the (rather weak) advice to prevent tracking much more prominent than a three line paragraph buried in the middle of the article.
196
17/02/2021 11:13:52 10 3
bbc
What if Alexa hears someone who hasn't agreed to the terms and conditions? Does it use their data without their consent?
213
Wet
17/02/2021 11:17:49 3 1
bbc
If that happens when the Alexa is nominally not awake, that's a problem. Otherwise it will take whatever you mention to be a potential query.
225
17/02/2021 11:20:49 14 2
bbc
Yet most of the people concerned about Alexa have an iPhone...... selective faux outrage at it's best.
271
17/02/2021 11:43:36 0 1
bbc
Careful on any communication channel like Teams, say a Brand too loudly and your mate's Alexa will fire up!!
288
17/02/2021 11:53:15 1 1
bbc
Alexa units have a button that switches off the microphone - mine are always off unless issuing a command.
329
17/02/2021 12:15:35 0 0
bbc
alexa's marketing is genius. so is portal. "here's a camera and a mic. put it in your home"
359
CJ
17/02/2021 12:32:23 1 0
bbc
Simple...do not have such a snooping device!
390
17/02/2021 13:13:22 1 0
bbc
Alex monitories all audio
430
17/02/2021 14:21:05 0 0
bbc
The thing that amuses me is that when I review a book on my website, adverts for that book start appearing on sites I visit that carry 3rd party ads... the amusement stems from the fact that to review a book, I need to have a copy already :)
547
18/02/2021 12:10:25 0 0
bbc
Substitute Alexa with any mobile phone and it's the same thing. You made the choice to be spied on for better adverts and offers.
5
17/02/2021 10:14:06 23 5
bbc
What a surprise - everything we do on-line being watched, doubtless recorded, and so we are told, used to send us endless, unwanted advertising material. Have to laugh at lies such as "understand what our customers prefer". What they prefer is their business.

Adblockers get rid of the advertising.

So what is the real agenda behind all this? And please don't start banging on about tinfoil hats.
24
17/02/2021 10:21:05 16 1
bbc
I do use adblockers, but I don't think they'll do much for "spy pixels".
421
17/02/2021 14:15:00 1 0
bbc
collecting data is addictive. even more so when you had an un official meeting with the gov't last week and marketing companies who told you they wanted some
442
17/02/2021 15:03:19 0 0
bbc
I get emails from M&S, Iceland and just delete them without reading them. So they know where I am, who I am and that I'm not reading the email. I'm hardly quaking in my boots at this!
538
18/02/2021 09:28:58 0 0
bbc
"understand what our customers prefer"

More like understand what they can get away with. Business is always quick to reap a benefit for itself, but slow to share it.
6
17/02/2021 10:14:20 48 6
bbc
Corporations think they own us.
17
17/02/2021 10:19:19 71 3
bbc
They don't think they own us. They know they do.
58
17/02/2021 10:28:21 2 2
bbc
As soon as you thought you could use their services entirely for free on the internet, they do - you need them more than they need you.
147
17/02/2021 10:56:40 5 1
bbc
Often in futuristic sci-fi books the universe is not controlled by governments but by huge corporations. We need to ensure that the governments we elect recognise this and do what they can to keep power in the hands of the people.
7
17/02/2021 10:14:23 296 13
bbc
TalkTalk said: "As is common across our industry and others, we track the performance of different types of communications..."

Should really rename yourselves to Stalk Stalk :)
55
xlr
17/02/2021 10:27:21 170 3
bbc
It's about the only time they actually listen to customers
81
17/02/2021 10:35:44 40 2
bbc
Off the subject somewhat, but I need a rant.........had the misfortune to be a TalkTalk customer by default, when they bought Tiscali, until I escaped. Horrendous, garbage company with appalling "customer service". Rant over ??
260
17/02/2021 11:39:41 8 8
bbc
Got to say, I'm not over bothered. "They" know where I am, what I buy, my internet preferences, who I am (obviously) - but really, so what? So I receive adverts "targeted" at me instead of random ones - so what? My "privacy" is being breached - well ever since computers came in, started communicating with each other, anyone with half a brain knew all our details were going to get out there.
337
17/02/2021 12:18:51 2 2
bbc
"As is common across our industry and others, we track the performance of different types of communications..."

Pity Dido Harding didn't know that when she finally left: she could have told the NHS all about it!
388
17/02/2021 13:12:34 3 0
bbc
that company sells your details on abroad so you get cold called
8
17/02/2021 10:14:38 1 11
bbc
Surely the only way a .GIF or .PNG viewer can trigger messages to be sent to the sender is if it's a virus?
18
Bob
17/02/2021 10:19:28 10 2
bbc
When you view an image your browser sends a request to the website - 'hello, I'd like to view this image'.

By giving images unique names they can record that 'image 145435' was requested and they'll know that image 145435 was sent to Mr Soandso.

But they don't really care that Mr Soandso opened it per se, they just want to know what marketing emails work and which don't to get better conversion.
21
17/02/2021 10:20:33 5 1
bbc
No no, a tracking pixel is an internet address specific to the customer. When the email is opened, the email client downloads the image from this specific address, letting the sender know you opened the email.
41
dh
17/02/2021 10:24:12 1 1
bbc
For these bulk marketing emails you don't actually receive the image data within the mail.
Instead the images are requested from the sender's server when you open the email.
Each recipient will have a different tracking ID attached to the image URL (image location) so all the sender has to do is look at how many times their server was requested to show the image linked to your ID.
9
Bob
17/02/2021 10:14:55 11 18
bbc
Not sure why the BBC is trying to strike such fear into people.

Residential IPs don't resolve to street level, at least in this country. And the vast majority are on dynamic IPs and geolocation services often fall behind.

And think about it, if one of the naughty retailers listed in the article sends you an email with their latest offers they already know your address from your customer account!
19
17/02/2021 10:19:31 4 2
bbc
Actually dynamic IPs can be quite "stable". I monitor my Virgin Media IP (residential) address, and it changes quite infrequently - maybe a few times a year.
25
17/02/2021 10:21:29 0 2
bbc
I get mails from Aventura . I haven't given them my address but they know it.
64
17/02/2021 10:30:37 0 2
bbc
IPv4 maybe.

As soon as IPv6 is in widespread use it will certainly be able to pin you down to your home network and if "out and about" to the device you are using and the WiFi hot spot.
10
17/02/2021 10:15:30 7 11
bbc
...and?

Does whipping up a furore, so that your angrier readers and spit-take their bland breakfasts at their partner, make any difference?

If you are using ANY modern technology, there is some way to track you... usually built in to the thing. Deal with it or don't use it.
15
17/02/2021 10:18:55 11 2
bbc
The problem with that though is you can't. You just can't. We all have to use some form of tech to exist in the modern world. Try living without a bank account for example. Next to impossible.
11
17/02/2021 10:15:55 10 5
bbc
Disgusting
2
17/02/2021 10:11:42 13 7
bbc
This is nothing compared to the total invasion of privacy that is coming. That's the real pandemic.
12
17/02/2021 10:16:40 4 6
bbc
There is no such thing as 'privacy'. It was made up to make you feel safe and easy to control. You're welcome.
517
17/02/2021 21:47:20 0 0
bbc
tbh the net is inherently insecure. it has to be made to be secure. the strength is in numbers - there's a 1 in million chance it's your details being taken
13
17/02/2021 10:18:33 10 4
bbc
Have your mailer reject all messages containing anything other than plain ASCII text. Problem solved.
42
17/02/2021 10:24:27 8 1
bbc
I've used a plain text email software (The Bat!) for over 15 years. Problem is that some emails are blank as they are only sent as html. That includes emails from individuals. I can switch on html but it's a bit of a pain but it will not display images (including tracking pixels) unless I tell it to. I prefer plain - html is distracting with often too many colours and fonts (form over function!)
57
17/02/2021 10:28:09 1 1
bbc
Ye, *that* problem solved. New problem: hardly any email at all. I'm all for plain text, but most domestic, commercial and work email - which I need to see! - is HTML. Email clients like Outlook default to HTML, and most users would not know what that was (let alone how to change it), and have got used to loading their emails with images and formatting crud.
14
17/02/2021 10:18:45 71 11
bbc
C'mon BBC. Looks like an advert. Sounds like an advert. Is an advert

The article does mention Gmail but doesn't mention that Gmail strips out these pixel trackers, as do all the other major "free" email providers. Sure, they add a different type of tracking but that's the "free" part

A decent email client will not show images if selected in the options. Problem solved
398
17/02/2021 13:21:28 5 0
bbc
Gmail routes all email images through their servers. The email sender can still use pixel trackers to know when you first opened an email, but they won't get any information on where you are or if you open it again, and they won't get any cookie data. I've consented to give Google lots of my data in exchange for what I consider a good email service, particularly how they handle spam and security.
403
17/02/2021 13:31:23 2 0
bbc
Gmail routes image requests through their servers, the sender only knows when you first open, does not get your IP address (location) or any other information (particularly cookies). Sender does not know if you open their email multiple times.
10
17/02/2021 10:15:30 7 11
bbc
...and?

Does whipping up a furore, so that your angrier readers and spit-take their bland breakfasts at their partner, make any difference?

If you are using ANY modern technology, there is some way to track you... usually built in to the thing. Deal with it or don't use it.
15
17/02/2021 10:18:55 11 2
bbc
The problem with that though is you can't. You just can't. We all have to use some form of tech to exist in the modern world. Try living without a bank account for example. Next to impossible.
3
17/02/2021 10:12:31 6 11
bbc
I'm not sure why this is considered news. Spying and email tracking has been completely endemic for the best part of a decade.
16
17/02/2021 10:14:37 5 1
bbc
I didn’t know ?? but certainly glad I do now.
6
17/02/2021 10:14:20 48 6
bbc
Corporations think they own us.
17
17/02/2021 10:19:19 71 3
bbc
They don't think they own us. They know they do.
393
17/02/2021 13:14:46 0 0
bbc
they blast adverts
8
17/02/2021 10:14:38 1 11
bbc
Surely the only way a .GIF or .PNG viewer can trigger messages to be sent to the sender is if it's a virus?
18
Bob
17/02/2021 10:19:28 10 2
bbc
When you view an image your browser sends a request to the website - 'hello, I'd like to view this image'.

By giving images unique names they can record that 'image 145435' was requested and they'll know that image 145435 was sent to Mr Soandso.

But they don't really care that Mr Soandso opened it per se, they just want to know what marketing emails work and which don't to get better conversion.
187
17/02/2021 11:09:57 0 1
bbc
Gotcha, thanks for that.
9
Bob
17/02/2021 10:14:55 11 18
bbc
Not sure why the BBC is trying to strike such fear into people.

Residential IPs don't resolve to street level, at least in this country. And the vast majority are on dynamic IPs and geolocation services often fall behind.

And think about it, if one of the naughty retailers listed in the article sends you an email with their latest offers they already know your address from your customer account!
19
17/02/2021 10:19:31 4 2
bbc
Actually dynamic IPs can be quite "stable". I monitor my Virgin Media IP (residential) address, and it changes quite infrequently - maybe a few times a year.
28
Bob
17/02/2021 10:22:16 0 1
bbc
They can be. But if privacy minded, easy to recycle with a router reboot or leaving it off for 5 minutes. Fact remains it still only resolves to the city.
39
17/02/2021 10:23:54 2 1
bbc
Dynamic IPs can be quite stable, but they still don't identify your street. Bob's comments are spot on, not sure why is picking up so many down votes. I expect I will too.
44
17/02/2021 10:25:10 0 2
bbc
same mine hardly ever changes and I'm with virgin, the main reason for this is the massive shortage of IP4 IP addresses, the last thing they want to do is start moving IP's around every time someone logs on, much easier to track how many you have left if they mostly are static.
20
17/02/2021 10:20:24 6 5
bbc
So stating the obvious and an advert for Hey?
8
17/02/2021 10:14:38 1 11
bbc
Surely the only way a .GIF or .PNG viewer can trigger messages to be sent to the sender is if it's a virus?
21
17/02/2021 10:20:33 5 1
bbc
No no, a tracking pixel is an internet address specific to the customer. When the email is opened, the email client downloads the image from this specific address, letting the sender know you opened the email.
4
17/02/2021 10:12:33 173 13
bbc
It's quite worrying on many levels. If you've got an Alexa, try speaking out loud about some really random product and see how long it takes for adverts for it to start arriving on your devices.
22
17/02/2021 10:20:50 78 4
bbc
Strangely enough I shout more at my digital devices than the kids, at least the kids do as they are told after a while.......
521
17/02/2021 21:58:02 0 0
bbc
Come the day these services become sentient, they may get really upset and AI cut off your devices (including bank account phone business insurance) because it takes a dislike to your bad civility.

https://thewiredshopper.com/alexa-now-with-attitude-uppity-ai-in-the-information-age/

Put all your trust in a digital assistant and it just might betray you.
23
17/02/2021 10:21:05 1 5
bbc
And we have the cheek to say Hwawei 5g cant be used, but its ok for us to spy on our own....
Plenty of good search engines out there and other ways to limit your exposure to this sort of thing, don't be lazy.
50
17/02/2021 10:26:15 0 2
bbc
What areyou hiding?
5
17/02/2021 10:14:06 23 5
bbc
What a surprise - everything we do on-line being watched, doubtless recorded, and so we are told, used to send us endless, unwanted advertising material. Have to laugh at lies such as "understand what our customers prefer". What they prefer is their business.

Adblockers get rid of the advertising.

So what is the real agenda behind all this? And please don't start banging on about tinfoil hats.
24
17/02/2021 10:21:05 16 1
bbc
I do use adblockers, but I don't think they'll do much for "spy pixels".
74
17/02/2021 10:34:11 3 1
bbc
There are uBlock Origin rules for blocking these. You might have to enable them in the options
408
17/02/2021 13:43:41 1 0
bbc
Try the Privacy Badger plugin
9
Bob
17/02/2021 10:14:55 11 18
bbc
Not sure why the BBC is trying to strike such fear into people.

Residential IPs don't resolve to street level, at least in this country. And the vast majority are on dynamic IPs and geolocation services often fall behind.

And think about it, if one of the naughty retailers listed in the article sends you an email with their latest offers they already know your address from your customer account!
25
17/02/2021 10:21:29 0 2
bbc
I get mails from Aventura . I haven't given them my address but they know it.
26
17/02/2021 10:21:40 10 5
bbc
Welcome to the modern world. If you breathe these companies know. Yet somehow the Government is unable to track illegal immigrants, criminals, tax avoiders and fraudsters.
47
17/02/2021 10:25:41 2 4
bbc
Perhaps we should give all illegal immigrants iphones so that they can send emails that we can track. Or ask fraudsters to use the term "I am a fraudster" in their emails to make it easier.
Alan, I wouldnt engage fingers on keyboard until you have thought about what you are about to type.
2
17/02/2021 10:11:42 13 7
bbc
This is nothing compared to the total invasion of privacy that is coming. That's the real pandemic.
27
17/02/2021 10:22:13 0 2
bbc
I really have no idea what you are talking about. What "total invasion of privacy"?
19
17/02/2021 10:19:31 4 2
bbc
Actually dynamic IPs can be quite "stable". I monitor my Virgin Media IP (residential) address, and it changes quite infrequently - maybe a few times a year.
28
Bob
17/02/2021 10:22:16 0 1
bbc
They can be. But if privacy minded, easy to recycle with a router reboot or leaving it off for 5 minutes. Fact remains it still only resolves to the city.
4
17/02/2021 10:12:33 173 13
bbc
It's quite worrying on many levels. If you've got an Alexa, try speaking out loud about some really random product and see how long it takes for adverts for it to start arriving on your devices.
29
17/02/2021 10:22:29 53 5
bbc
If you've got Alexa you've already lost. You've *paid* for the privilege of having the world's biggest retailer listen to everything that happens in your home.
30
Bob
17/02/2021 10:22:36 6 7
bbc
The major email clients and providers have been preventing tracking pixels and images for years. Either by simply blocking them, caching the images so all users sent an email see the same image rather than unique ones or by not loading images by default and giving you the choice to load it.

This is just a trash PR-ticle playing on unfounded fears.
56
37p
17/02/2021 10:27:29 3 3
bbc
I don't agree it's a trash article. It is useful for those that don't know. Maybe it should be better worded as a warning and how to deal with it.
31
17/02/2021 10:22:54 8 3
bbc
I love these companies, I love the government, any government, I love MI5, I love Amazon, I love all technology especially Facebook. I have not and never will say anything nasty about anyone anywhere. Got that? Phew.
32
Tom
17/02/2021 10:22:55 128 4
bbc
People may say 'this has been going on for years' but I think it's important that the BBC (and the rest of the press) keep flagging these things to the general public.

Just because you are on you're own on the internet, doesn't mean you're on your own.

Privacy is an important right and it's important we keep challenging those who continue to abuse it.
115
17/02/2021 10:44:03 59 11
bbc
They're not flagging it properly though

They should be saying it's a long time fixed problem. They should be saying that if you use an old email client, like Outlook, you should turn off 'auto load images'. They should be telling home users to switch to one of the large provides and use their webmail as it'll block viruses and trackers

The BBC are actually saying "pay Hey to remove trackers"
146
17/02/2021 10:55:16 7 6
bbc
Thresa May signed in the Snoopers charter that gave companies the right to do all this stuff to begin with. Our Tory government made the catalyst for this to happen.
Why are we all complaining now??
334
17/02/2021 12:17:43 1 0
bbc
the greatest trick facebook ever pulled..
385
17/02/2021 13:07:42 1 0
bbc
And some of us never heard of it until today, thanks to the BBC
392
17/02/2021 13:14:16 0 0
bbc
British data is sold abroad
33
17/02/2021 10:22:55 5 11
bbc
Wow as a web designer since 1998, why is this even news, this has been done since way back in the early 2000's, absolutely no new news here lol, hysterical!
48
37p
17/02/2021 10:25:44 15 3
bbc
Because not everyone is a web designer so it is news to many.

Don't be smug just because you know and others don't
4
17/02/2021 10:12:33 173 13
bbc
It's quite worrying on many levels. If you've got an Alexa, try speaking out loud about some really random product and see how long it takes for adverts for it to start arriving on your devices.
34
17/02/2021 10:23:03 36 4
bbc
"If you've got an Alexa". There's the problem.
35
17/02/2021 10:23:22 30 5
bbc
Use an email client such as a Thunderbird which blocks them, costs nothing. If only the BBC journalists did their homework and informed readers, however it isn't new.....

https://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/email-trackers-how-to-block-see-why_l_5c95335fe4b01ebeef0f0e05
420
17/02/2021 14:13:49 2 1
bbc
"real" stuff is hard. just try radio 1 during the day. 8 songs on a loop
36
17/02/2021 10:23:42 3 2
bbc
If I've got this right it's the HTTP GET for the 1-pixel graphic that gives them the information they want. The article fails to say that.

BTW if the IP address says I'm in California then it reveals I'm not at home. So accuracy of IP address might not matter so much.
66
Bob
17/02/2021 10:32:11 3 2
bbc
And if a company is sending you an email because you have an account they already know your home address. So not sure what damage Hey think is being done by TalkTalk or M&S et all having access to your IP is.

I mean TalkTalk issued you your IP in the first place...
73
dh
17/02/2021 10:34:01 2 1
bbc
A basic example could be evilcorp.com/pixel.png?user=MartinPacker
They just tag a unique ID to the request so when your email client requests it the info gets logged for their reporting.

I can't imagine anyone at TalkTalk loosing sleep because Eric from 29 Acacia Road hasn't read their mail yet. More likely is that companies use these for aggregated tracking, A/B testing of product ideas etc.
37
Bob
17/02/2021 10:23:44 5 4
bbc
Companies don't care that Joe Bloggs of 10 The Lane viewed some offers, they care that *someone* viewed the offers. Sellers of privacy tools want you to think it is the former.

They're there to measure the relative performance of campaigns - not for anything sinister. That's why they continue to be used even though the likes of Gmail have had measures to counter these things for almost a decade.
38
jay
17/02/2021 10:23:46 71 7
bbc
???? the wife and I was talking about adopting last night just a conversation about it , woke up this morning put YouTube on low and behold the Recommended videos are .....
adoption ??????
shhhh Alexa ears wide open !
84
17/02/2021 10:36:06 48 5
bbc
That's Google for you, one of the most intrusive organisations. Start by removing Google as your default web page, I use DuckDuckGo but be careful, even on DDG the default search engine is Google. This can be changed.
On YouTube, even if you request no recommendations they will still appear, only I know what I want to look at or listen at a particular time. Also watch out for Amazon - just as bad
96
17/02/2021 10:39:02 9 2
bbc
Whats awful about this is that Youtube and Alexa have different ownership (Google and Amazon) and yet STILL they have somehow stalked you - its not even the same company!
247
17/02/2021 11:30:49 3 0
bbc
Another DuckDuckGo user here.
341
17/02/2021 12:19:58 0 0
bbc
I've never been to someone's house when they had an alexa running. I'm really not sure whether I'd want to have a convo with one running
438
17/02/2021 14:40:20 1 0
bbc
Complete coincidence - I wasn't talking to my wife last night and I've got videos about adoption in my recommended videos too as have millions of other people - probably the same one as yours about Dayshawn and his little brother loving their new family - how do you explain that?
534
18/02/2021 08:49:02 0 0
bbc
And you find that funny?
19
17/02/2021 10:19:31 4 2
bbc
Actually dynamic IPs can be quite "stable". I monitor my Virgin Media IP (residential) address, and it changes quite infrequently - maybe a few times a year.
39
17/02/2021 10:23:54 2 1
bbc
Dynamic IPs can be quite stable, but they still don't identify your street. Bob's comments are spot on, not sure why is picking up so many down votes. I expect I will too.
40
17/02/2021 10:24:01 162 13
bbc
As usual the marketing and money businesses will find a way get their grubby hands on our personal data.
Until the law is punitively applied against these abuses, nothing will change.
My data is mine alone, and I do not give consent. This is illegal theft!
149
17/02/2021 10:58:24 49 2
bbc
Interesting the use of the word "endemic" in this article. There's still debate as to whether COVID can be eradicated. But apparently we are past the point where that might've been possible for these spying pixels. Marketing people and their nefarious techniques are, it seems, hardier that a virus. It's like that quote, "It is easier to imagine the end of the world than the end of capitalism."
251
17/02/2021 11:33:36 12 0
bbc
The data protection commissioner is either complicit, powerless or incompetent for allowing this - either way resign or be removed.
I know they won't though sadly.
314
17/02/2021 12:07:47 1 1
bbc
So what data did you supply to the BBC in order to open up your HYS account?
You didn't supply false data did you, because that could be fraud.
330
17/02/2021 12:16:36 0 3
bbc
I'd say it's more down to the individual to learn (maybe by chance) that it's happening, and install the relevent blockers
332
17/02/2021 12:17:09 0 0
bbc
actually, it's probably in MS's EULA. it really isn't yours
383
17/02/2021 13:16:05 0 0
bbc
I take it you won't be filling out your census form when it arrives in a short while then, nor shopping at a supermarket or indeed anywhere unless you're using cash, nor registering to vote, nor .. well, you get the picture. You'd probably best ask to have your birth certificate, medical records, etc. expunged too. Your data has never been yours at all, let alone yours alone.
391
17/02/2021 13:13:44 2 0
bbc
your data is then sold then out of the blue you receive cold calls
8
17/02/2021 10:14:38 1 11
bbc
Surely the only way a .GIF or .PNG viewer can trigger messages to be sent to the sender is if it's a virus?
41
dh
17/02/2021 10:24:12 1 1
bbc
For these bulk marketing emails you don't actually receive the image data within the mail.
Instead the images are requested from the sender's server when you open the email.
Each recipient will have a different tracking ID attached to the image URL (image location) so all the sender has to do is look at how many times their server was requested to show the image linked to your ID.
13
17/02/2021 10:18:33 10 4
bbc
Have your mailer reject all messages containing anything other than plain ASCII text. Problem solved.
42
17/02/2021 10:24:27 8 1
bbc
I've used a plain text email software (The Bat!) for over 15 years. Problem is that some emails are blank as they are only sent as html. That includes emails from individuals. I can switch on html but it's a bit of a pain but it will not display images (including tracking pixels) unless I tell it to. I prefer plain - html is distracting with often too many colours and fonts (form over function!)
43
17/02/2021 10:24:51 11 4
bbc
Dear retailers, please stop exposing your pixel in public - its indecent :)
19
17/02/2021 10:19:31 4 2
bbc
Actually dynamic IPs can be quite "stable". I monitor my Virgin Media IP (residential) address, and it changes quite infrequently - maybe a few times a year.
44
17/02/2021 10:25:10 0 2
bbc
same mine hardly ever changes and I'm with virgin, the main reason for this is the massive shortage of IP4 IP addresses, the last thing they want to do is start moving IP's around every time someone logs on, much easier to track how many you have left if they mostly are static.
45
jay
17/02/2021 10:25:22 42 5
bbc
Your data is worth more than gold , and you gave it all away willingly ??????
124
17/02/2021 10:47:10 19 2
bbc
Data is the new currency. Buying, selling and trading data on individuals is what has made all social media companies and internet search engines among the richest companies. Sadly too many people either don't care or don't understand how this is used to target and control the information you do receive. Check out "The Great Hack" and "The Social Dilemma" on Netflix. Interesting.
186
17/02/2021 11:09:43 0 1
bbc
In what way? I spent the whole day yesterday in work and then fell asleep after my tea. Trying to work out how advertisers are going to control that....
348
17/02/2021 12:23:19 0 0
bbc
data in one end, money out the other
395
17/02/2021 13:15:35 0 0
bbc
not willingly
559
18/02/2021 18:02:12 0 0
bbc
46
17/02/2021 10:25:33 5 3
bbc
Surely this is very old news
26
17/02/2021 10:21:40 10 5
bbc
Welcome to the modern world. If you breathe these companies know. Yet somehow the Government is unable to track illegal immigrants, criminals, tax avoiders and fraudsters.
47
17/02/2021 10:25:41 2 4
bbc
Perhaps we should give all illegal immigrants iphones so that they can send emails that we can track. Or ask fraudsters to use the term "I am a fraudster" in their emails to make it easier.
Alan, I wouldnt engage fingers on keyboard until you have thought about what you are about to type.
33
17/02/2021 10:22:55 5 11
bbc
Wow as a web designer since 1998, why is this even news, this has been done since way back in the early 2000's, absolutely no new news here lol, hysterical!
48
37p
17/02/2021 10:25:44 15 3
bbc
Because not everyone is a web designer so it is news to many.

Don't be smug just because you know and others don't
49
No
17/02/2021 10:26:11 69 14
bbc
Oh look, yet another bit of "Free" marketing for Hey. They sure seem to somehow get an abnormal amount of these. Totally no backhand dealing though...
344
17/02/2021 12:21:56 6 0
bbc
u know what's weird. if u call the police and ask them what CCTV they would recommend, they aren't allowed to tell you.

which is f*#*ing useful.
346
17/02/2021 12:22:46 1 1
bbc
BBC, you've gone from "dont use a profanity", to calling them "rude words"

Beeb, is your highbrow slipping?
23
17/02/2021 10:21:05 1 5
bbc
And we have the cheek to say Hwawei 5g cant be used, but its ok for us to spy on our own....
Plenty of good search engines out there and other ways to limit your exposure to this sort of thing, don't be lazy.
50
17/02/2021 10:26:15 0 2
bbc
What areyou hiding?
108
17/02/2021 10:41:30 0 1
bbc
wouldn't you like to know.....
51
17/02/2021 10:26:22 1 1
bbc
Would we be happy if anyone had opened and inspected our private letter delivery ? World opinion might be driven to create harsh detainment places for people who defy moral norms through greed. (Control camp experiments did exist in the past for those who persistently overstepped moral and social boundaries - a breach of human rights? Although somehow equivalent ? )
95
17/02/2021 10:38:53 0 2
bbc
The allegory would be more accurate if the company that sent you the letter themselves were checking you had received and opened the letter. There is no control on seeing other messages or accessing more than the engagement with the letter sent by the company themselves.
4
17/02/2021 10:12:33 173 13
bbc
It's quite worrying on many levels. If you've got an Alexa, try speaking out loud about some really random product and see how long it takes for adverts for it to start arriving on your devices.
52
17/02/2021 10:26:25 23 8
bbc
If you've got an Alexa then you know what you were getting. No-one else's problem than the owner of the Alexa.
2
17/02/2021 10:11:42 13 7
bbc
This is nothing compared to the total invasion of privacy that is coming. That's the real pandemic.
53
17/02/2021 10:27:11 1 2
bbc
Get your tin foil hat on
301
17/02/2021 12:02:13 0 0
bbc
Total tin foil hat territory. I mean, it's not as if private companies are already inserting a 1x1 pixel image file into communications that can give out the location of the recipient!

Oh
54
17/02/2021 10:27:19 222 7
bbc
I don't agree it is down to the individual to set exclusion protocols for images. These are unwanted invasions, for the most part. Legislate to make them illegal, or give individuals opt in, rather than opt out rights.
220
17/02/2021 11:19:53 36 2
bbc
I agree. I have my emails set to plain text only. I have had far less problems since doing this. But it hasn't completely eliminated the problem. The only way to really do this is minimise email to those things that are only truly essential.
248
17/02/2021 11:31:55 12 1
bbc
Print a list of the offenders so that we can Boycott them!
441
17/02/2021 14:53:08 0 1
bbc
You opt in if you request information from online site or place an order.
475
17/02/2021 16:52:07 2 0
bbc
You have to opt-in or use a service to receive an email though...

If you're that concerned about privacy, continue to use brick and mortar organisations, pay in cash, and maybe wear a disguise whilst you're at it?

Oh - maybe don't use the ATM too, they know when you use it, and record you doing so.
496
17/02/2021 18:02:58 1 0
bbc
If people are this bothered by a company knowing whether or not they opened an email, they better toss out their mobile phones and Alexa devices entirely. Mobile devices track FAR MORE than email opens.
519
17/02/2021 21:48:43 0 0
bbc
Who will police it is nobody knows they are being traced?
The ICO already knows opt in / out but is one office against all of commerce AND criminals conducting illegal activity (as well as legitimate exercises in security).

How about the Security Services being uninterupted in their quest for JUSTICE?
531
18/02/2021 01:48:05 0 1
bbc
The BBC has turned into The Sun -sensationalised headline... Spy implies once you open their email this company is monitoring your every keystroke -nonsense.

Any decent business wants to know if their marketing is cost effective . They are just measuring this -nothing sinister. If you show interest then they may send an appropriate follow up. You should not receive any email unless you opted in
544
18/02/2021 11:06:26 0 0
bbc
Yes. Outlaw it. In addition the existing laws on webpages need updating too. We are all fed up of having to click half a dozen or more buttons to opt-out (funny how it is only a single button to opt-in), when browsers alredy have a Do Not Track setting. Why not make it a requirement to read and abide by this setting?
7
17/02/2021 10:14:23 296 13
bbc
TalkTalk said: "As is common across our industry and others, we track the performance of different types of communications..."

Should really rename yourselves to Stalk Stalk :)
55
xlr
17/02/2021 10:27:21 170 3
bbc
It's about the only time they actually listen to customers
30
Bob
17/02/2021 10:22:36 6 7
bbc
The major email clients and providers have been preventing tracking pixels and images for years. Either by simply blocking them, caching the images so all users sent an email see the same image rather than unique ones or by not loading images by default and giving you the choice to load it.

This is just a trash PR-ticle playing on unfounded fears.
56
37p
17/02/2021 10:27:29 3 3
bbc
I don't agree it's a trash article. It is useful for those that don't know. Maybe it should be better worded as a warning and how to deal with it.
13
17/02/2021 10:18:33 10 4
bbc
Have your mailer reject all messages containing anything other than plain ASCII text. Problem solved.
57
17/02/2021 10:28:09 1 1
bbc
Ye, *that* problem solved. New problem: hardly any email at all. I'm all for plain text, but most domestic, commercial and work email - which I need to see! - is HTML. Email clients like Outlook default to HTML, and most users would not know what that was (let alone how to change it), and have got used to loading their emails with images and formatting crud.
6
17/02/2021 10:14:20 48 6
bbc
Corporations think they own us.
58
17/02/2021 10:28:21 2 2
bbc
As soon as you thought you could use their services entirely for free on the internet, they do - you need them more than they need you.
141
17/02/2021 10:53:40 5 1
bbc
"you need them more than they need you" Not really, without customers/users they go out of business, without them we use another service or don't use those services at all. We kind of need them in the modern day, they 100% need us.
59
17/02/2021 10:28:36 39 7
bbc
Probably as I’m in my 50’s I was excited about the digital age from the late 90’s. Now with malicious malware, spam, marketing, tracking, scams etc it’s become a point of stress. Totally ruined, login if you dare.
110
17/02/2021 10:42:04 15 2
bbc
I am working to increase security for an international company, they face the same dangers. The increase in these threats has been mind blowing. Make your email exclusive, push all items into junk and do your own sorting. You can read the email in junk without the image being displayed. Even you friends and family can accidentally forward you unsafe mail, look out for that one :-)
418
17/02/2021 14:12:52 0 0
bbc
it's vaguely annoying that you used to be able to download a software key. now it's riddled (with malware). and small software houses are blatantly under the impression that there's an infinite amount of money to be had, so make up a number "£30" for our utility
60
17/02/2021 10:29:18 125 20
bbc
In the interests of disclosure how much did Hey pay for having their press release copied and pasted here?
145
17/02/2021 10:44:35 62 28
bbc
Absolutely right - blatant advertising on the BBC - just an advertorial.
156
17/02/2021 11:00:36 13 5
bbc
Maybe read the article before comdeming it. In the first paragraph it says, "according to a messaging service that analysed its traffic at the BBC's request."
477
17/02/2021 16:54:14 0 0
bbc
Shocking that Mozilla Thunderbird wasn't mentioned. It's free, open source, and blocks tracking pixels / remote content by default.
33
17/02/2021 10:22:55 5 11
bbc
Wow as a web designer since 1998, why is this even news, this has been done since way back in the early 2000's, absolutely no new news here lol, hysterical!
61
17/02/2021 10:29:30 1 1
bbc
62
17/02/2021 10:30:03 55 15
bbc
There's no story here. The sinister thing about this article is that it appears to be generated by an organisation that sells spyware software. It is simply using the BBC to peddle its product.
87
17/02/2021 10:36:50 34 7
bbc
Agree. Hey have pitched to people at the BBC that know little about marketing and the Editor has found an alarmist clickbait he can get an old journalist to write about.
63
17/02/2021 10:30:35 123 28
bbc
Just imagine the outrage if the Royal Mail opened your letters in order to obtain marketing information, this is no different and its time government legislated.
75
37p
17/02/2021 10:34:14 57 39
bbc
This isn't the equivalent of opening your letters. It's the same as saying that your letter has been delivered - something that tracked and guaranteed delivery does with paper mail.
82
17/02/2021 10:35:53 17 7
bbc
If the letters were only from Royal Mail themselves and they were checking you had received and opened the letter, your allegory would be more accurate.
91
17/02/2021 10:37:32 6 5
bbc
Government are one of the worst offenders here. The web sites they almost insist that you use simply don't work unless you allow third-party and tracking cookies. Best solution here is to access them through the TOR browser so that such things are accepted & instantaneously deleted ... but they seem to be wising up to this & stopping their web sites being contacted on port 443 ...
233
17/02/2021 11:22:33 1 4
bbc
Just getting your mail delivered is a blessing.
Forget Larkrise - Royal Mail should have the Royal bit stripped out.
I daresay Her Majesty is the only person to get reliable deliveries.
Nothing Royal about the services here.
444
17/02/2021 15:10:38 1 1
bbc
You pay the Royal mail to send stuff - that is how they make money. The internet and email is free more or less so it has to be paid for somehow. Just ignore the BS and spam from sellers and move on. Do you watch all the ads on TV? Same issue, pays for the TV
9
Bob
17/02/2021 10:14:55 11 18
bbc
Not sure why the BBC is trying to strike such fear into people.

Residential IPs don't resolve to street level, at least in this country. And the vast majority are on dynamic IPs and geolocation services often fall behind.

And think about it, if one of the naughty retailers listed in the article sends you an email with their latest offers they already know your address from your customer account!
64
17/02/2021 10:30:37 0 2
bbc
IPv4 maybe.

As soon as IPv6 is in widespread use it will certainly be able to pin you down to your home network and if "out and about" to the device you are using and the WiFi hot spot.
175
17/02/2021 11:05:29 1 1
bbc
IPV6 is in widespread use already, on yor PC do an ipconfig/all and you will see IPV6. Broadband gives you two offerings "Fixed IP or Dynamic" majority have dynamic and if you run a speed check software you will see where your ISP POP is. Mine is Swindon but I live 40 miles away so I get advertising on a well known Broadcaster for Swindon based adverts such as will writing, life insurance etc
65
Bob
17/02/2021 10:30:38 4 3
bbc
It is funny how tools claiming to be beneficial for your privacy work by actually invading your privacy.

So instead of ASOS or whoever knowing you viewed an email (oh no, whatever will they do with this info!) you have to instead open up your entire inbox to be read by the email provider so they can extract out these deadly pixels.
77
17/02/2021 10:34:41 3 4
bbc
Yeah Hey seem very fishy to me with their business. Most marketers determine success from opens and clicks, there is little interest in location on the whole. Hey have inflated this to be some alarmist 1984 narrative.
36
17/02/2021 10:23:42 3 2
bbc
If I've got this right it's the HTTP GET for the 1-pixel graphic that gives them the information they want. The article fails to say that.

BTW if the IP address says I'm in California then it reveals I'm not at home. So accuracy of IP address might not matter so much.
66
Bob
17/02/2021 10:32:11 3 2
bbc
And if a company is sending you an email because you have an account they already know your home address. So not sure what damage Hey think is being done by TalkTalk or M&S et all having access to your IP is.

I mean TalkTalk issued you your IP in the first place...
2
17/02/2021 10:11:42 13 7
bbc
This is nothing compared to the total invasion of privacy that is coming. That's the real pandemic.
67
17/02/2021 10:32:14 1 2
bbc
Sounds like a conspiracy theory - the sort that everyone else in the world other than you will need to be in on to work.
173
17/02/2021 11:05:16 4 1
bbc
Why does everything have to be a conspiracy theory? It's merely a case of "give an inch, take a mile". Whilst we have idiots actually offering to give up even more privacy than we have to at the moment, of course organisations are going to demand more! Data is money!
68
17/02/2021 10:32:26 6 7
bbc
This smacks of the BBC getting Hey in for their own audit, Hey giving some alarmist spiel that none of the BBC staff knew anything about, and the editor saw a clickbait opportunity while Hey saw a revenue making opportunity.

Most email tracking is commonplace simply for marketers to understand their email's engagement success e.g. opens, clicks. Location tracking is less common and a bit iffy.
118
17/02/2021 10:45:10 0 1
bbc
"Location tracking is less common and a bit iffy."

I don't know how common it is but given that various helpful, protective programmes have warned me that my location is exposed, I know it is iffy.

I am amazed to learn just where my location is - different town each day. They have yet to get it right! And I may add that I use a desktop PC that doesn't move, not a "smart" phone.
69
17/02/2021 10:32:37 12 5
bbc
Tracking pixels are similar to using a tracked postal service. The sende gets a confirmation their message was delivered.

Some email systems have a delivery notification mechanism. It has never been popular is not universal and is often switched off because people want to be able to deny receiving a message.

Tracking pixels are the response.
455
17/02/2021 16:00:40 2 0
bbc
With one big difference. when I use a tracking postal service I get told if the package was delivered. If I use tracking pixels then I get told that it was delivered, if it was opened, when it was opened, how many times it has been opened and how long it was open for each time.

Betcha Royal Mail can't sell you that service.
542
18/02/2021 10:53:27 0 0
bbc
Setting read receipts by default (rather than only when really needed, which is seldom) is seen as being poor etiquette by some.

Turning off responding to read receipts is done for many reasons, fear of abuse or misuse of the information being among them.

Tracking pixels is something quite different and certainly not merely a response to the suppression of returning read receipts.
70
17/02/2021 10:24:07 6 6
bbc
Call it what it is... cyber terrorism!
112
17/02/2021 10:42:55 1 1
bbc
Except it's not is it. It's marketing. The worst that might happen is that you get some more emails.
71
17/02/2021 10:33:11 16 4
bbc
Talk Talk's justification is to tell us it's a common practice across many industries. So that makes it ok then. Here have my data. When you realise I'm just a man who sits in his underpants buying nothing, you'll soon lose interest.
106
17/02/2021 10:41:06 12 1
bbc
Sounds like you need lots of emails about trousers!
72
17/02/2021 10:33:48 12 2
bbc
Goes to show yet again that in the 21st century no company can be trusted to respect your privacy.
36
17/02/2021 10:23:42 3 2
bbc
If I've got this right it's the HTTP GET for the 1-pixel graphic that gives them the information they want. The article fails to say that.

BTW if the IP address says I'm in California then it reveals I'm not at home. So accuracy of IP address might not matter so much.
73
dh
17/02/2021 10:34:01 2 1
bbc
A basic example could be evilcorp.com/pixel.png?user=MartinPacker
They just tag a unique ID to the request so when your email client requests it the info gets logged for their reporting.

I can't imagine anyone at TalkTalk loosing sleep because Eric from 29 Acacia Road hasn't read their mail yet. More likely is that companies use these for aggregated tracking, A/B testing of product ideas etc.
24
17/02/2021 10:21:05 16 1
bbc
I do use adblockers, but I don't think they'll do much for "spy pixels".
74
17/02/2021 10:34:11 3 1
bbc
There are uBlock Origin rules for blocking these. You might have to enable them in the options
216
17/02/2021 11:18:20 0 1
bbc
Interesting - I use uBlock, and couldn't find that option in the settings. Gmail (and I guess many email clients) do allow you to block external images, though, and there is also a Gmail extension called "PixelBlock".
63
17/02/2021 10:30:35 123 28
bbc
Just imagine the outrage if the Royal Mail opened your letters in order to obtain marketing information, this is no different and its time government legislated.
75
37p
17/02/2021 10:34:14 57 39
bbc
This isn't the equivalent of opening your letters. It's the same as saying that your letter has been delivered - something that tracked and guaranteed delivery does with paper mail.
404
17/02/2021 13:38:23 1 0
bbc
No not really. Content is being used without permission. It is theft.
453
17/02/2021 15:51:14 1 0
bbc
No, it is the same as saying the letter has been delivered AND opened. If you receive a tracked Royal mail delivery the sender knows it has arrived, not if it has been opened and how many times the letter has been looked at.
545
18/02/2021 11:09:32 0 0
bbc
It is more than that - it shows delivery, opening, every time it is opened, on which devices, where you were when you opened it and all without paying any charge for tracking.
76
17/02/2021 10:34:20 53 7
bbc
Wonderful how commercial companies can follow you and what you’re reading but Facebook, Twitter, Google and other social media are unwilling to track and silence the keyboard cowards who spew out poison.
101
17/02/2021 10:40:20 10 4
bbc
To be fair, one is a lot easier than the other. If I Google 'shoes' then the next time I log on to Youtube I might get a video about shoes in my recommendations. But to stop the Twitter trolls you often have to read an entire sentence to get the meaning and context - which is why people have to do it. Even then they might get it wrong!
167
ljs
17/02/2021 11:03:49 5 1
bbc
Anybody who uses Facebook or Twitter must be really dumb

and enjoy being spied on. !!!!!!!
205
17/02/2021 11:16:34 0 1
bbc
Now you know what Cookies do
394
17/02/2021 13:15:24 0 0
bbc
British data stuff like phone numbers are sold abroad for cold calling
415
17/02/2021 14:10:21 0 0
bbc
what irks me, is you get accounts dedicated to spamming which appear to last weeks or months or more, but the moment you say something "dodgy" you land a suspension

of course I might have had several strikes that I've not known about
494
17/02/2021 18:08:50 0 0
bbc
Two different cases - in one, companies act unacceptably so people need countermeasures, in the other, people act unacceptably so companies need countermeasures. From long personal experience, if you restrict people they become more devious, so Facebook et al also need to avoid pushing sad individuals into the arms of organised crime who will offer them better evasion tools if demand is created.
65
Bob
17/02/2021 10:30:38 4 3
bbc
It is funny how tools claiming to be beneficial for your privacy work by actually invading your privacy.

So instead of ASOS or whoever knowing you viewed an email (oh no, whatever will they do with this info!) you have to instead open up your entire inbox to be read by the email provider so they can extract out these deadly pixels.
77
17/02/2021 10:34:41 3 4
bbc
Yeah Hey seem very fishy to me with their business. Most marketers determine success from opens and clicks, there is little interest in location on the whole. Hey have inflated this to be some alarmist 1984 narrative.
78
Bob
17/02/2021 10:34:57 1 7
bbc
Why should a user be concerned that TalkTalk has a tracking pixel that gives them your IP address if they are the ones who issued you with the IP address in the first place?
83
37p
17/02/2021 10:35:55 9 3
bbc
Because not every email is from your provider!
97
17/02/2021 10:39:09 0 2
bbc
Are you actually using their IP address for any purpose other than being able to construct a VPN to run all your internet traffic through?
103
17/02/2021 10:36:29 1 2
bbc
What about the hundreds of other people giving you tracking pixels?
79
17/02/2021 10:35:13 5 3
bbc
It seems that if you delete emails without opening them the company will stop emailing you. Sounds like a good result to me.
80
17/02/2021 10:35:19 8 4
bbc
How this stuff isnt properly regulated by now (by regulators and tech providers) is absolutely beyond me!
7
17/02/2021 10:14:23 296 13
bbc
TalkTalk said: "As is common across our industry and others, we track the performance of different types of communications..."

Should really rename yourselves to Stalk Stalk :)
81
17/02/2021 10:35:44 40 2
bbc
Off the subject somewhat, but I need a rant.........had the misfortune to be a TalkTalk customer by default, when they bought Tiscali, until I escaped. Horrendous, garbage company with appalling "customer service". Rant over ??
354
17/02/2021 12:30:02 4 1
bbc
Same. Worst company I've ever had the misfortune of dealing with, ever.
366
17/02/2021 12:46:27 3 0
bbc
Yes, I had to take them to the Ombudsman before they would fully release me to my new supplier and stop harassing me for money I didn't owe them.
400
17/02/2021 13:33:55 3 0
bbc
My experience too. Rotten company.
532
18/02/2021 03:58:51 1 0
bbc
Couldn't agree more
It's about time the ASA brought them to book for the lies they tell in their advertising, both on TV and in their mailshots

Hardly surprising that 'Track and Trace' is such a waste of money when you consider that Dildo used to be CEO of TT
63
17/02/2021 10:30:35 123 28
bbc
Just imagine the outrage if the Royal Mail opened your letters in order to obtain marketing information, this is no different and its time government legislated.
82
17/02/2021 10:35:53 17 7
bbc
If the letters were only from Royal Mail themselves and they were checking you had received and opened the letter, your allegory would be more accurate.
105
37p
17/02/2021 10:40:45 5 1
bbc
That may be true but the key issue is that it's only about delivery not content.
386
17/02/2021 13:21:30 1 0
bbc
Criticism that's a bit rich from someone who apparently doesn't know the difference between allegory and analogy!
78
Bob
17/02/2021 10:34:57 1 7
bbc
Why should a user be concerned that TalkTalk has a tracking pixel that gives them your IP address if they are the ones who issued you with the IP address in the first place?
83
37p
17/02/2021 10:35:55 9 3
bbc
Because not every email is from your provider!
88
Bob
17/02/2021 10:37:13 1 3
bbc
But it is the explicit example given in the article. They should pick a better example.
38
jay
17/02/2021 10:23:46 71 7
bbc
???? the wife and I was talking about adopting last night just a conversation about it , woke up this morning put YouTube on low and behold the Recommended videos are .....
adoption ??????
shhhh Alexa ears wide open !
84
17/02/2021 10:36:06 48 5
bbc
That's Google for you, one of the most intrusive organisations. Start by removing Google as your default web page, I use DuckDuckGo but be careful, even on DDG the default search engine is Google. This can be changed.
On YouTube, even if you request no recommendations they will still appear, only I know what I want to look at or listen at a particular time. Also watch out for Amazon - just as bad
129
17/02/2021 10:50:29 3 1
bbc
Funnily enough there is a video on Youtube showing you how to change DuckDuckgo to your default search engine. I know as I did just that this weekend
272
17/02/2021 11:43:46 7 2
bbc
"That's Google for you, one of the most intrusive organisations."
Uh, you know all this stuff can be switched off in Google and no advertising material is gathered or used? Check out your account settings - there's a wealth of privacy-enabling options in there.
I *never* receive targetted advertising of any sort. It's really very easy to be in control but so few people bother.
315
17/02/2021 12:08:13 2 3
bbc
For all the Google products (Android, Search, YouTube, GMail etc.) I can, from a single location choose to Review, Delete or Stop the collection of my data. It takes a total of 5 mouse clicks to delete all the data they store about me. How pernicious, devious and underhand! It seems people get greater enjoyment bleating about big tech than taking control of their own data.
85
17/02/2021 10:36:24 49 5
bbc
British Airways said: "We take customer data extremely seriously, and use a cross-industry standard approach that allows us to understand how effective our customer communications are."
----

I do love these obvious, long-winded patronising explanations when it can be summed up in three words - We're watching you!
86
17/02/2021 10:36:47 5 4
bbc
If all they are doing is tracking your interaction with the email, then who really cares? Just press delete.
62
17/02/2021 10:30:03 55 15
bbc
There's no story here. The sinister thing about this article is that it appears to be generated by an organisation that sells spyware software. It is simply using the BBC to peddle its product.
87
17/02/2021 10:36:50 34 7
bbc
Agree. Hey have pitched to people at the BBC that know little about marketing and the Editor has found an alarmist clickbait he can get an old journalist to write about.
384
17/02/2021 13:17:52 2 0
bbc
Or perhaps a journalist inadvertently clicked on a phishing email from Hey?
83
37p
17/02/2021 10:35:55 9 3
bbc
Because not every email is from your provider!
88
Bob
17/02/2021 10:37:13 1 3
bbc
But it is the explicit example given in the article. They should pick a better example.
89
17/02/2021 10:27:29 0 2
bbc
Eye spy with my little eye
90
17/02/2021 10:31:01 40 7
bbc
This is a blatant advert for HEY
63
17/02/2021 10:30:35 123 28
bbc
Just imagine the outrage if the Royal Mail opened your letters in order to obtain marketing information, this is no different and its time government legislated.
91
17/02/2021 10:37:32 6 5
bbc
Government are one of the worst offenders here. The web sites they almost insist that you use simply don't work unless you allow third-party and tracking cookies. Best solution here is to access them through the TOR browser so that such things are accepted & instantaneously deleted ... but they seem to be wising up to this & stopping their web sites being contacted on port 443 ...
128
17/02/2021 10:49:55 10 1
bbc
This article is about an issue with emails, not websites and cookies. Two very different things.
382
17/02/2021 13:14:26 2 2
bbc
Or just configure your browser of choice to delete all cookies when it's closed.
When you need to use the site open the browser, navigate to the one site you are interested in then close the browser again. simple
405
17/02/2021 13:38:59 0 0
bbc
1. Tracking pixels won't be blocked by disabling any kind of cookies.
2. When the tracking pixel image gets loaded by the browser, it's the requesting it from the company's server that gives it information.
3. Only way to stop tracking pixels is to have an ad blocker and a tracking blocker (Firefox has it inbuilt iirc)
4. Port 443 is for secure communications (https), nothing to do with tracking!
92
17/02/2021 10:37:44 28 4
bbc
Privacy protocols that allow you to ‘opt out’ and peddled by all the major tech players are obscene in their complexity. I suspect only the most determined individuals actually achieve what they attempt to do. It is becoming increasingly obvious that the Internet is rapidly becoming dominated by junk which is best avoided. Such behaviour holds back human progress.
389
17/02/2021 13:22:05 4 0
bbc
Fully agree. The BBC showed a presentation by Sir Tim Berners-Lee a year or so ago, and he summarised by saying it was quite scary how the worldwide web was now being used?
93
17/02/2021 10:38:01 1 1
bbc
It seems like no matter what people do or want or need, someone somewhere is always trying to bend the rules & situation to their own advantage.
Humanity is a shining example of something nature constantly tries hard to eradicate - there is no future for a species as selfish as us!
94
17/02/2021 10:38:40 1 3
bbc
Delete all cookies.
120
37p
17/02/2021 10:45:48 2 1
bbc
This isn't about cookies. It's about images that are retrieved from a server and then send a response to the originator.
127
17/02/2021 10:49:34 2 1
bbc
Has no effect on images linked to an email
51
17/02/2021 10:26:22 1 1
bbc
Would we be happy if anyone had opened and inspected our private letter delivery ? World opinion might be driven to create harsh detainment places for people who defy moral norms through greed. (Control camp experiments did exist in the past for those who persistently overstepped moral and social boundaries - a breach of human rights? Although somehow equivalent ? )
95
17/02/2021 10:38:53 0 2
bbc
The allegory would be more accurate if the company that sent you the letter themselves were checking you had received and opened the letter. There is no control on seeing other messages or accessing more than the engagement with the letter sent by the company themselves.
38
jay
17/02/2021 10:23:46 71 7
bbc
???? the wife and I was talking about adopting last night just a conversation about it , woke up this morning put YouTube on low and behold the Recommended videos are .....
adoption ??????
shhhh Alexa ears wide open !
96
17/02/2021 10:39:02 9 2
bbc
Whats awful about this is that Youtube and Alexa have different ownership (Google and Amazon) and yet STILL they have somehow stalked you - its not even the same company!
321
17/02/2021 12:11:51 0 0
bbc
Do you use Facebook? If yes have a look at https://www.facebook.com/off_facebook_activity/activity_list as this will list all the websites that have chosen to share your data with Facebook. Don't blame Facebook or big tech, blame the websites collecting and sharing your data.
78
Bob
17/02/2021 10:34:57 1 7
bbc
Why should a user be concerned that TalkTalk has a tracking pixel that gives them your IP address if they are the ones who issued you with the IP address in the first place?
97
17/02/2021 10:39:09 0 2
bbc
Are you actually using their IP address for any purpose other than being able to construct a VPN to run all your internet traffic through?
98
17/02/2021 10:32:33 2 1
bbc
The whole point of using services like MailChimp to send out marketing emails is that they use such technology to track how an email campaign went.
99
17/02/2021 10:39:52 4 2
bbc
Hitler and Goebels made radio affordable for everyone to get the message across , fast forward 80 years .... and Tech firms , the Media and Governments have all realised the power of the shiny little screen in everyone's hands .
100
17/02/2021 10:39:58 6 1
bbc
this isn't about pixels - any embedded image can offer this functionality
169
17/02/2021 11:04:37 1 1
bbc
Right. But it's hard to spot a 1-pixel graphic - as the article points out.

Trouble is the issuer of a HTTP GET doesn't know it's (say) 1 pixel when it issues the GET. Otherwise it could block GETting it.