Superman email tracking told someone when you opened their email and from where. Even if Superhuman removed the feature entirely in response to privacy pressures, other apps will still be able to track your email opens. Here’s how to stop it.
While Superhuman has now removed location tracking, it still supports email open tracking. And other email tracking apps can let those who send you emails know your geographic location.
How can an application track email?
The superman uses a feature that has existed for a long time. It embeds a tiny image of the tracking pixel in the emails it sends. When you open an email, your email client asks for an image. The image is unique to each email, so Superhuman can see exactly when you’ve opened an email and your general location based on your IP address.
This is not unique to Superman! While not usually part of a consumer email application, many email newsletters and other marketing emails have been using tracking pixels for a long time. They know how many people open each email and they can see which people on their mailing list open each email.
Despite all the hype, Superhuman just takes the existing email feature and unleashes it in a new, albeit scarier way for a lot of people. Superhuman has now disabled the open tracking feature by default, but any Superhuman user can enable it.
Even if Superhuman continues to lean into the pressure and remove the feature entirely, people will still be able to use other email tools — from dedicated email apps to browser extensions that integrate with Gmail — to keep track of your email opens.
RELATED:How People See When You Open Emails (And How to Stop Them)
How to stop tracking email open
To stop email open tracking, you just need to disable the «auto-download images» option in your email client of choice.
Superhuman CEO Rahul Vohra points out that Gmail has browser extensions in your web browser like Ugly Email and PixelBlock that can block pixel tracking — without blocking other images. However, they will only work in Gmail in your browser, and they are not guaranteed to block all tracking images. Disabling remote image uploads is a solid method that will work everywhere — at least it will work in every email client that allows you to disable image uploads.
After you turn this off, you will probably see an image download option every time you open an email. It depends on how your email client works. If you do not agree, you will not see the images and no one will be able to see how you opened this email. Many email clients, such as Gmail, allow you to automatically download images from certain senders, as long as you don’t worry about those senders following you.
For example, in Gmail, go to Settings > General. To the right of the images, select «Ask Before Displaying External Images». Scroll down to the bottom of the page and save your changes.
If you’re using a different email client, search the web for how to turn off automatic image downloads in email messages in your email client of choice.
Remember that even if you choose to turn off automatic image downloads, people will still be able to see you open your emails if you choose to view the images after opening the email.
Superhuman itself doesn’t allow you to disable remote image uploads, which means that Superhuman users can’t block tracking pixels yet. Vohra promises that this feature takes precedence.