Do you know that most companies track your activities through emails? I am sure that most people are not aware of this fact but it's true. You are being spied via mails by companies etc. 

Many companies now adopt this practice and it has become quite a common and useful technique in improving your business campaigns. 


Have you ever heard this term: SPY PIXELs?

So basically in simple words Spy Pixels also called Tracking Pixels are small 1x1 images embedded in the emails. You might have not noticed them but they are present in the emails mostly by marketers or companies. Around ⅔ of the emails involve Spy Pixels. These are also termed as tracking bugs, web bugs, pixel tags, and web beacons, etc.

Not using a VPN? You are exposed to these threats.


Their purpose is mainly focused to tack the following things:

  • When you opened the email,
  • From where you opened your email,
  • For how long the email remained opened, 
  • On which device the email is opened,
  • How many times did you open the email?

This information is then used to analyze the overall performance of an email campaign in order to make a good and refined customer profile. Hence, it's a common practice done for the people in the Marketing and Sales field. 

Particularly talking about the Salesperson, you might have faced the situation where you received such type of email:

"I see you have seen our email but haven't replied yet. Can we call?"

Such type of Stuff. 

They know that you have opened and read their emails because of these Spy Pixels. Thus, it is useful and quite easy to track the users. 

There are several companies including Unilever, Tesco, British Airways, Vodafone, and many more using Spy Pixels in their emails. 

What Laws are Imposed on This Practice?

According to Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations (PECR) and General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR), organizations are required to inform the recipients about the Spy pixels and even take consent from them.

I guess this is quite acceptable. As these pixels do not collect your sensitive or personal information. They are solely based for professional purposes and help them improve their work by refining their customer profiles and track about how their campaign is performing so far. 

In a recent interview and article published by BBC  this year, the companies were questioned regarding this topic and they gave quite clear and positive remarks on this. 

According to British Airways: 

"We take customer data extremely seriously, and use a cross-industry standard approach that allows us to understand how effective our customer communications are."

Similarly, TalkTalk said: 

"As is common across our industry and others, we track the performance of different types of communications to understand what our customers prefer. We do not share this data externally."

In other words, Using Spy Pixels has now become an effective tool for companies to track their campaign performance and also helps in order to make ways to improvise them. 

But, if you are not comfortable and don't want to get spied on, you can block these tracking pixels.