[Dovecot] Can we know when a user read our email?

Robert Schetterer robert at schetterer.org
Sun Jun 3 12:50:48 EEST 2012

Am 03.06.2012 10:43, schrieb Ed W:
> On 03/06/2012 09:06, Linda Walsh wrote:
>> Ed W wrote:
>>> Just to register interest, but at some point I will need to consider
>>> writing a plugin or similar to achieve exactly this.
>>> Situation is that several of our competitors offer such a feature, ie
>>> known pool of users on dialup or intermittently connected systems,
>>> provide an alert back to the sender when your email has been
>>> "accessed/downloaded" by the remote user.
>> ---
>>    My dentist used a service that claimed to provide a read-notification.
>> It was just an embedded web-bug in the email that I could choose to
>> display or not ... if the client doesn't want to cooperate, you can't
>> tell when the person read it.  All you could do is tell when a client
>> downloaded it from dovecot...which doesn't say much for clients that
>> are left on 24/7...
> Please folks - don't argue with me - I'm the wrong person!  The
> recipient who is receiving these emails, ie the person being "bugged" is
> demanding that they are "buggable".  If they demand it and it's a
> requirement for providing them service then I have to give it to them if
> I want the business.
> The users are on satellite dialup and barely have enough bandwidth to
> download a few KB of emails, they certainly can't trigger web bugs to
> trigger read receipts.
> Look, I can argue against the idea easily, personally my objection is
> mail loops, but the point is that the customer demands it, and at
> present that prevents me bidding for certain types of business... 
> Basically the customer just wants to repro what they got with Exchange
> Cheers for ideas though!
> Ed W

Hi Ed, you can have dsn

you can have mdn

so this is internet (smtp ) standards
and has nearly nothing to do with imap/dovecot

also whatever solution you use there is no way
to find out if a user has read a mail unless you asked him in person
( and then you might find out if the recipient has understood what he
had read *g)

the maximum you may reach is get notice if a mail has tec side  reached
the recipient, the user must not accept your wish to notice you if he
opens the mail ( which also would not mean he has read the mail )

this is with internet mail, by intranet mail systems
( which means the recipient is on the same mail system and storage)
typical for company mail sites with exchange and/or notes etc
you have a dediacted client i.e outlook for exchange , so here its
possible to implement inside actions whatever tec of this system is able
to do.

But as soon as you mail to internet, this features may
get useless , cause you never know what tec is used on the recipient side
so nobody may invest time in create useless internet standards

however youre free to code or pay someone to code for you what you want
specially for your wanted feature. But i see no real relate to dovecot,
cause mail is recent sent via smtp

Dont compare mail systems this way, they are totally different
however they do imap/pop3/smtp
specially with echange some stuff will only work with outlook and
active directory

Best Regards

MfG Robert Schetterer


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