Gmail’s new tracker tells when, where users open email

Google’s found a new tracking tool, and it’s called the Streak plugin, an email watchdog that allows users to tell just when their sent messages were opened — and where the recipients were when they read them.

The Daily Mail reported that the Streak, a San Francisco-based company, also touts its plugin as revealing who opened the emails, how many times they’ve been opened, what devices the readers used to open them — laptop versus iPhone, for example — and at what times they were opened. The creepiest factor is that the technology reveals the approximate location of the readers when they opened the emails.


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The technology, officially called “Customer Relationship Manager,” or CRM by the Streak company, is intended for sales and marketing professionals. But it can also be installed by anybody with a Gmail account who uses Google Chrome and Safari, The Daily Mail reported.

How it works is the email sender receives a popup notification when the reader opens the message. The Daily Mail reported that the technology also uses an icon — of an eye — that turns green to alert of a read message and that tracks how many times the particular email has been opened.

The email recipient, meanwhile, remains clueless to the tracking. The technology does not send any alert to the reader that the sender has looked at the tracking tools and is aware of the email’s status.

Streak allows users to track 200 emails a month for free and then charges a fee.

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