Encrypted email service ProtonMail has announced that it will now block and remove email trackers by default to protect users’ privacy. The e-mail service will also disguise a user’s IP address and geolocation with a generic IP address and geolocation. ProtonMail will also warn users if companies hide email trackers in marketing emails. This can be read on the ProtonMail blog.
Block Email Trackers
E-mail trackers are used, for example, in newsletters or advertising e-mails from companies. These trackers provide information about when an email was opened, how often the email was opened, and on which device the email was opened. Sometimes you can even see the IP address and geolocation of the email recipient through these trackers. The email trackers are also called tracking pixels because they are often as large as a single pixel and virtually invisible.
This information is shared with the sender without permission, according to Lydia Pang of ProtonMail. ProtonMail is an end-to-end encrypted email service that prioritizes privacy and security. The secure email service has announced that it will actively block these email trackers. “Now you can read your emails without advertisers being able to track you, build a profile about you, or show you ads based on your email activity,” said Proton.
When an email is opened, tracking pixels are blocked by default. Users will then receive a notification. At the top of the mail program, you can see how many e-mail trackers have been blocked and who these trackers come from.
hide IP address
From now on, ProtonMail will also hide recipient IP addresses from third parties. This keeps the recipient’s location private. ProtonMail downloads images in remote emails, sending the sender a generic IP address and geolocation, rather than that of the recipient. In this way, the recipient’s personal information is disguised.
Proton indicates that it cannot view emails itself. The hyperlinks of images on the sender’s side are checked because all emails go through a Proton proxy. This means that ProtonMail is still end-to-end encrypted.
Disable new features
The new ProtonMail features are enabled by default. If desired, users can disable the options themselves via the settings menu, under the Privacy tab. The user can set that e-mail tracking is not blocked. Also, the user can set the content to be loaded remotely, without being prompted. The two functions can be turned off independently of each other.
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