Most E-mails contain invisible “Spy Pixel”
According to the “Hey” email provider, two-thirds of all emails contain a “spy pixel”. This invisible pixel might allow companies to track your location and also show devices you own.
A “Spy Pixel” is also used to report back to spammers that an email message has been opened. This means that your e-mail address has been validated which can result in additional spam.
“Hey” provider offers a paid email service rather than scanning customer emails in order to get information for targeted advertising. The company said that 10 percent of its customers receive at least 50 messages containing a spy pixel while other customers get 24 emails per day that contain at least one spy pixel. Surprisingly, senders are mostly well-known and reputable businesses.
So what is a “Spy Pixel”? Actually, it is a very small image, one pixel in size that’s made in white color so it can be seen or discovered by the user. It’s worth mentioning that this image is not in the email itself, but is downloaded and retrieved from the senders’ email server once the email is opened and rendered on the user’s machine.
Even though all user information a company can get when a user visits a webpage, this is different because it’s done without any user consent. “Spy Pixel” surely breaches privacy laws, especially Europe’s GDPR which requires active consent before collecting any personal data.