Gmail for iOS Gets Image Blocking to Prevent Email Tracking


Google has updated its Gmail app for iOS devices with a new image blocking setting to prevent Gmail from automatically loading attached images.

With the update, users can choose to be asked each time whether or not to display external images in an email. The new setting is meant to counteract the tracking services that embed small invisible images into emails to let a sender know when an email has been opened, news portal 9to5Mac reported on Tuesday.

The update is now available on the Apple App Store. “You can now choose to be asked before external images are displayed automatically. To enable this for new incoming messages, go to Settings > specific account > Images and select Ask before displaying external images,” reads the change log on the Apple App Store.

The image loading setting was previously limited to the Web version of Gmail, it might have gone unnoticed by heavy mobile email users of the iOS app. Now one can get access to this setting on iPhone and iPad devices. The rollout of the feature is almost certainly a “response to a controversy from July, when former Twitter executive Mike Davidson drew attention to how a subscription email service was allowing users to track the location and time of when an email was opened,” the report notes.

In addition, Google has rolled out a new feature late last month for its G Suite users where it will show a notification to your contacts in Gmail and Hangouts chats that you are away on vacation.

Available for only G Suite (Google’s enterprise customers) at the moment and not the ordinary Gmail users, the feature will be fully rolled out globally from September 16.

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