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

Tamsy dovecot-list at mohtex.net
Mon Jun 4 04:17:20 EEST 2012

Richard wrote the following on 04.06.2012 05:20:
>> 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

I totally agree with Richard's point of few.

I would consider it as intrusive and even intimidating if the sender of 
an E-Mail can monitor whether and when I open/read his mail.
Just imagine this would happen with the good old hard printed mail the 
postman put into the mailbox at our door: As soon as we open the 
envelope and unfold the letter a microchip sends a note to the sender 
that his letter has been opened and read.
I can already see the public outcry if something like this would happen 
some day...

If somebody sends me a mail, it is up to me whether I want to open and 
read its content or whether I just want to bin it without having opened 
it. This is my right since the moment that mail has reached my mailbox, 
no matter whether it is a hardcopy mail or an E-Mail, it belongs to me 
and I can do with it whatever I like without letting the sender know how 
it has finally ended.

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