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Trackers in Your Inbox: Criticizing Current Email Tracking Practices

Conference paper
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Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 12703)

Abstract

Email is among the cornerstones of our online lives. It has evolved from carrying text-only messages to delivering well-designed HTML contents. The uptake of web protocols into email, however, has facilitated the migration of web tracking techniques into email ecosystem. While recent privacy regulations have impacted the web tracking technologies, they have not directly influenced the email tracking techniques. In this short paper, we analyze a corpus of 5216 emails, give an overview of the identified tracking techniques, and argue that the existing email tracking methods do not comply with privacy regulations.

Keywords

Email tracking Third party tracking Privacy regulations 

Notes

Acknowledgments

We would like to thank Pierre Dewitte for his insightful comments during the early stages of this research, as well as Max Maass and PrivacyMail (https://privacymail.info/) for their willingness to share data related to this study.

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2021

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.imec-DistriNetKU LeuvenLeuvenBelgium

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