The use of hidden ‘spy pixels’ in standard emails is now ‘endemic’, according to an investigation by email service Hey.

Hey analysed its traffic at the BBC’s request and discovered that nearly two-thirds of emails sent to users contained invisible spy pixels.

Spy pixels, aka web beacons or tracking pixels, are tiny 1×1 images that can be embedded into messages to track a variety of data points. These images, which include .GIFs and .PNGs, are designed in such a way that they easily merge with the email content and remain invisible to the eyes of the recipient.

Spy pixels can let the sender know if and when the receiver opened the email, how many times was it opened, what device was used to see the email, and sometimes even the user’s approximate physical location….

Story By Dev Kundaliya 18 February 2021

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