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

Richard inbound-dovecot at listmail.innovate.net
Mon Jun 4 01:20:10 EEST 2012

> Date: Sunday, June 03, 2012 02:54:32 PM -0400
> From: Jerry <jerry at seibercom.net>
>> On Sun, 03 Jun 2012 20:19:20 +0200
>> Reindl Harald articulated:
>> people are mostly to stupid to realize what they
>> are trying to accomplish and why it it a bad idea
>> this is why we professionals exist and if people
>> refuse what you are explaining them kiss them
>> goodbye - irt will be better for you over the long
> No offense, but considering your business attitude and disdain for
> potential clients and your opinion of them, it would be a far
> better thing if they steered clear of you all together. There are
> many considerate, intelligent, compassionate professionals out
> there who would be willing to take on the difficult client. Any
> "asshole" can service the routine, run of the mill, client. It
> takes a true professional to work with and service a difficult 
> one.

Something that seems to be missing from this discussion are
considerations of privacy and (personal) security. There are fairly
serious implications of a sender being able to tell that/when
someone has downloaded/opened a message -- including discovery of
daily patterns and potentially where the recipient is, or isn't.

I think it is our responsibility to understand these issues and
explain them to managers/clients in order to bring them along if we
refuse (as I would) to provide a capability such as this. [I always
set the sendmail "noreceipts" PrivacyOptions so it doesn't respond
to these disposition requests.]

One approach is to point out to managers/clients that if their
system is configured to return read receipts, anyone sending mail to
them on that system will be able to get these same types of
receipts. When they think about that they may not like the
implications and may reconsider their request. 

Just because it is technically possible to do something (and even if
other vendors provide the capability) does not mean that it is the
ethically or legally responsible thing to do.

   - Richard


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