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This Chrome extension warns you if someone is tracking your Email

This Chrome extension warns you if someone is tracking your Email

March 30, 2015 1:38 am0 comments

Who would want to track my emails? I was asking myself this very same question, and it turns out there is more people interested in the when and how I read their emails than what I thought. If you also want to find out who is tracking the emails you get in Gmail, this extension will be pretty handy for you.

It goes without saying that the fact that someone is tracking our email is a more common practice than it seems, and even though it is pretty intrusive, it is also legal. Essentially, what happens is that some companies like to know the when and where we read the emails they send us. This valuable information so that they can improve marketing actions or just to know if you’re paying attention to them or not.

According to Brian Barret from Wired, there are a lot of companies that offer email tracking services. They all work pretty much the same way. Essentially, what they do is to place a 1 pixel transparent image that when we open the email will send a ping with some basic info, such as: location (if available), time and type of device from where the email was read. It is like an acknowledgement of receive, but with more information. Enough to make you raise an eyebrow.

That must have been same gesture the developer called Sonny Tulyaganov had when he decided to create Ugly Mail. It is a simple Chrome extension which informs us which emails are making use of this tracking tool.

We have tried Ugly Mail in our PC and it works as described. The emails using the tracking tool are marked with a small eye symbol.


Although we must admit the extension has some limitations. If we open an email to read it in Gmail web or mobile, the eye disappears. In some cases it takes a while to identify the emails. Also it is only available for Chrome and only works with Gmail. Ugly Mail are monitors the tracking from Yesware, Bananatag and Streak. These three are some of the most important tracking services providers, but not the only ones. Tulyaganov assures that the list of providers his extension works with will grow over time. At the moment Ugly Mail works like a charm and it is the source of a surprises or two in our inbox.

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