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Pixel/Image Tracking by Delta

Pixel/Image Tracking by Delta

Old Dec 26, 19, 9:20 am
  #1  
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Pixel/Image Tracking by Delta

Good Morning,

I am noticing intense use of image/pixel tracking lately through service emails, sometimes through non-secure domains and/or third-parties. My list of email senders includes financial institutions, ISP, online travel agents, mobile service provider and Delta Airlines. I regularly receive invitation emails to join SkyMiles that are infected with tracking images sending unknown type and amount of data every time I open those emails. I consider the use of tracking pixels/images in service emails like these as unwanted, deliberately hidden to collect data, and unauthorized invasion in to my privacy, without any visible disclaimer.

I am aware of total image blocking from my email client/setting or using pixel blocking add-on in the browser, but an easier solution could have been the senders stopping this hideous practice. After three weeks of denial, assurance, indecision and inaction from the Delta email support team, I am redirected myself here.

Thank you.
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Old Dec 26, 19, 10:08 am
  #2  
 
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Originally Posted by beqh34c2r8d4k View Post
Good Morning,

I am noticing intense use of image/pixel tracking lately through service emails, sometimes through non-secure domains and/or third-parties. My list of email senders includes financial institutions, ISP, online travel agents, mobile service provider and Delta Airlines. I regularly receive invitation emails to join SkyMiles that are infected with tracking images sending unknown type and amount of data every time I open those emails. I consider the use of tracking pixels/images in service emails like these as unwanted, deliberately hidden to collect data, and unauthorized invasion in to my privacy, without any visible disclaimer.

I am aware of total image blocking from my email client/setting or using pixel blocking add-on in the browser, but an easier solution could have been the senders stopping this hideous practice. After three weeks of denial, assurance, indecision and inaction from the Delta email support team, I am redirected myself here.

Thank you.
While I haven't read Delta's privacy policy / TOS for the emails you speak of, I'm sure they clearly state they have the right to do click & open tracking and anything else they want to track and you agreed to that when you opted in to the emails.

Generally speaking most businesses that use an ESP default to running their open and click tracking from the ESP's domain not Delta's - that's probably what you're seeing as "third party domains or insecure domains". While Delta could set this up to track from a subdomain of Delta.com or similar it's not a requirement for them.

From an email sent to you - there really isn't any data to collect outside of open and click data and possibly your device and location. While yes tracking is annoying, I don't find this type of tracking to be more intrusive than tracking done by just about any website.

If you don't want to be tracked in any form by Delta, my guess is your only option is to unsubscribe from their emails.
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Old Dec 26, 19, 10:43 am
  #3  
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Thank you for your input.
First of all, I do not have a Delta account yet officially, and that was a unsolicited email. Sending that email was a violation to begin with.
Secondly, I am yet to find a Privacy policy declaimer that explicitly defines use of tracking pixels and what type of data are being collected, what are the third parties involved, where those are kept and how long. The very nature that this in invisible pixels with codes embedded in email and uselessness other than advertisement/campaign, make pixel tracking malicious. Any datum transmitted non-securely is vulnerable to eavesdropping and kind of man-in-the-middle attack as well.
Thirdly, I do not know about you, but my email, device, time and location data are private to me. Since I am not told what type of other data in that bucket, let us not extrapolate as well, that there is nothing else to collect from my browser or email client.
Fourthly, why I have to unsubscribe from something that I never subscriber go begin with?

Last edited by beqh34c2r8d4k; Dec 26, 19 at 10:48 am
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Old Dec 26, 19, 10:59 am
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I am unclear on what you're hoping to accomplish by posting here on FT. This is not an official Delta messaging board, and while it's likely that the occasional Delta employee reads these threads, it's highly unlikely that any change in their tracking pixel policy is going to occur based on this thread.

Unfortunately, the USA (where I am assuming you are based) does not have strong data privacy laws, and it's highly likely that everything they're doing is above the law. That gives you no recourse other than attempting to influence Delta, which I would say is hardly more than a fool's errand.

I hope you find what you're looking for, but I don't see it happening here.
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Old Dec 26, 19, 11:08 am
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That "above the law" attitude will be there forever, if we choose to remain silent. I am sharing my experiences and opinions hoping they help to begin a discussion.
Call it fool's errand or whatever you like.
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Old Dec 26, 19, 12:40 pm
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Are you sure this sign-up offer is coming from Delta? I looked at my emails from Delta, and they either only contain a single image-based tracker which goes back to Delta or they include a couple of extra ones to returnpath.net which appear to track device type and location. Without further details, not much to go on here.
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Old Dec 26, 19, 12:47 pm
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Thank you. You nailed it!
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Old Dec 26, 19, 12:57 pm
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I have no idea what anybody is talking about?

Are you saying that Delta has imprisoned my computer and all my photographs when I log in or read an E-mail to say it's time to check-in?
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Old Dec 26, 19, 3:25 pm
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I block all image loading from my email client. Email is a text medium, and inline images rarely add anything useful. I use NoScript and RequestPolicyBlocker to prevent third-party tracking across the web. This breaks many sites until I re-enable permissions, but at least I can make informed choices and grant only the minimum permissions necessary.

The EFF recently posted good report on tracking here:

https://www.eff.org/wp/behind-the-one-way-mirror
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Old Dec 26, 19, 3:33 pm
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Originally Posted by manacit View Post
I

Unfortunately, the USA (where I am assuming you are based) does not have strong data privacy laws, and it's highly likely that everything they're doing is above the law. That gives you no recourse other than attempting to influence Delta, which I would say is hardly more than a fool's errand.
That is very much incorrect with CCPA coming online in a few days, the law in California is written so loosely that most large companies are instituting CCPA rules across their entire organization as it is nearly impossible to funnel out California residents (especially California residents living out of state currently)

I imagine (hope) that DL would take the approach companies like Microsoft, Google, Apple, etc. are taking which is airing on the side of caution.
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Old Dec 26, 19, 7:18 pm
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Donning my tin foil hat before the lock.
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Old Dec 26, 19, 9:25 pm
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OP. have you tried VPNing through he EU? (Just curious, I haven't done it)
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Old Dec 27, 19, 8:29 am
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The irony here is that a solid portion of FT is all about how to *get* tracked and targeted for various offers/promotions/etc. Especially in the CC forums, there are entire threads about how to make sure you're signed up for every promo email possible and are spending in the proper patterns to garner an invite/offer for XYZ.

DL has apparently obtained OP's email address somehow - the simplest explanation would be via a ticket purchase. I'm willing to bet that somewhere in the T&Cs agreed to alongside the ticket purchase, OP granted DL the permission to use his/her email address for communication about the trip and other marketing purposes. Also, for someone so worried about privacy, I hope OP is aware that both DL and whatever credit card was used for the purchase and their marketing partners are all aware of the dates and destination of OP's travel.
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Old Dec 27, 19, 10:34 am
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Originally Posted by SuperG1955
OP. have you tried VPNing through he EU? (Just curious, I haven't done it)
Once the email is in my mail server, I guess it does not matter - the pixel will do its job.

Originally Posted by gooselee
DL has apparently obtained OP's email address somehow - the simplest explanation would be via a ticket purchase. I'm willing to bet that somewhere in the T&Cs agreed to alongside the ticket purchase, OP granted DL the permission to use his/her email address for communication about the trip and other marketing purposes. Also, for someone so worried about privacy, I hope OP is aware that both DL and whatever credit card was used for the purchase and their marketing partners are all aware of the dates and destination of OP's travel.
I am not happy but okay will all these, except a code sitting in my inbox with a tracking capability from here to eternity and for exposing my devices to third-parties, listed or otherwise.

Last edited by beqh34c2r8d4k; Dec 27, 19 at 10:45 am
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Old Dec 27, 19, 12:18 pm
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Beqh, you are talkiing techno gibberish.

Something sitting in your inbox can not do anything. It is a bunch of bits just sitting there.

If you open the email, and if you allow the images and if you have crappy software that executes embedded files for no reason; then you could have an issue.

You have no idea if you have an issue or not. Any scan software will get false positives.

OK, Delta (or somebody claiming to be Delta) sent you an unsolicited email. If you are going to go into a fit everytime this happens, your life will be wasted chasing this. Either send the site to trash or ignore the issue.
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