Partner at White & Case LLP
24 August 2004 12:20pm
The French Data protection authority have put out a press release which provides that every user of certain email tracking software in France could be liable to up to 5 years imprisonment and a 300,000 Euro fine. The tracking software in issue is that produced by an American Company - Rampell Software www.rampellsoft.com/ and the reason it has caught the attention of the French Authorities is that the software tracks the recipient’s use of an email without their consent. Original Press release: http://www.cnil.fr/index.php?id=1602&news[uid]=177&cHash=5f39b9474d
Automated English translation: http://fets3.freetranslation.com/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.cnil.fr%2Findex.php%3Fid%3D1602%26news%5Buid%5D%3D177%26cHash%3D5f39b9474d&sequence=core&language=French%2FEnglish
Are there other providers of email tracking software which could suffer the same ignominy? Ashley
Technical Director at Box UK
24 August 2004 13:19pm
Will suffer the same fate (I say hopefully, as I don't like the direction that this software is taking us). I don't really want to switch from Outlook, but unfortunately the current Open Source mail readers are far better equipped to protect against this kind of privacy invasion...
Retired at Retired
24 August 2004 16:41pm
Actually Outlook 2004 protects you against this. I assume they work by sending an HTML email with an invisible image in it, and Outlook 2004 blocks any downloads.
Fndr at Majestic12.co.uk
24 August 2004 17:02pm
>Actually Outlook 2004 protects you against this. I
>assume they work by sending an HTML email with an
>invisible image in it, and Outlook 2004 blocks any
Windows XP Service Pack 2 enables similar protection for Outlook Express - must say its nice, even though some good HTML emails suffer as the result.
What I find interesting (but not fully tested by me yet) is that embedded (attached with email) images show up just fine. Back in Jungle.com we used to attach all images because we found that responses rates are better. This approach can be back in force this year.
24 August 2004 17:22pm
Embedded images would be blocked because they are not an external source. They couldn't be used for this type of spying for example.
We tried embedded images but they didn't work for some email clients, I can't remember which ones - maybe included Outlook on a Mac. It was sufficiently important for us to drop them like a hot potatoe at the time.
I can see us moving towards embedded images in html emails to bypass these protective measures. and to heck with mac users. Except they tend to be conentrated in our client base!
Managing Director at Shine Marketing
25 August 2004 10:43am
I've tried a few ways of getting the images through recently.
Not sure if it's just my settings but Hotmail wouldn't display the images, despite them getting through fine with the message. - This is a pretty hefty chunk of our user base.
Best compromise has been to use a blank image at the top of the mail with an ALT text containing an "if you can't see images click here" type message, the host a copy online.
The newsletters I've done make pretty good content on their own so it helps our SEO as well.
Does anyone have any stats on whether users pick HTML or Text when given the choice?
Preferably a choice without a default.
25 August 2004 15:00pm
Yes I know they are not blocked because they are not external source, I was just mentioning that because given option of losing open email tracking AND images as opposed to just losing email open tracking I know which one I would prefer!
I did pretty extensive testing for our (B2C UK) userbase in 2000, and we found despite bigger email people click and convert better for those emails with embedded images. In fact we due to that strict limit to overall email size (100k) we had to think better about design unlike some companies that did think and still think that email is just a webpage.
We did a lot of testing for our embedded images solution and it did work fine with most clients, I think Macs were okay (we always included plain text version for clients that won't support html and provided option to customers to specify format they want).
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