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Protonmail brings protection against email tracking

January 20, 2022 –
Tracking pixels in e-mails can send the activities of the message and other information back to the sender, and it may be passed on to third parties. Protonmail now disables tracking by default.

The Swiss e-mail service Protonmail from Proton Technologies implements a protection against tracking in e-mails, called Enhanced Tracking Protection, in its service. This is an additional level of protection for the mailbox, which is intended to prevent tracking, for example by advertisers. It is no longer possible for the relevant players to create user profiles and send advertising based on email activities. The new feature is now activated in the default settings.

Protonmail estimates that around 40 percent of all emails sent and received in the world use tracking functions. These so-called tracking pixels, which are usually contained in messages unnoticed, then send various information about the activity of the email in question to the sender. For example, how many times the message was opened, the IP address and the device type. In such cases, it is largely impossible to control the potential transfer of data to third parties.

The new Protonmail feature therefore blocks these tracking pixels and also shows the user how many trackers were blocked (see image). The IP address of the user is also obscured. Last but not least, this means that the user can confidently continue to register for newsletters or new online accounts – just without the fear of being tracked. (win)

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