When you open an email, the sender can find out if you opened it, how often you reopened it, where you physically were when you opened it, how long you spent reading it, if you were on a phone or a computer when you opened it, and even what kind of phone or computer you own.
What’s startling is that the sender doesn’t even need your permission. By simply sending you an email, they’re able to learn things about your behavior that you’d never voluntarily offer up. All against your will.
They typically do this by using a service that embeds a spy pixel in emails they send you. A spy pixel is a tiny, often invisible image that’s hidden in an email. When you open the email, the image is downloaded from their server. Bingo — now they know you’ve read it (and potentially a whole lot more).
We think that’s a gross invasion of your privacy. In fact, we believe it should be illegal, and punishable by law.
While we don’t get to write the laws, we do get to build defenses: If you use HEY, we’ll protect you against the vast majority of email spy trackers. In almost all cases, people sending you email with spy pixels to your HEY account won’t know if you opened their email, when you opened their email, how often you opened their email, etc. That’s your business, not theirs. HEY’s on your side, not theirs.
HEY manages this protection through several layers of defenses. First, we’ve identified all the major spy-pixel patterns, so we can strip those out directly. When we find one of those pesky pixels, we’ll tell you exactly who put it in there, and from what email application it came. Second, we bulk strip everything that even smells like a spy pixel. That includes 1x1 images, trackers hidden in code, and everything else we can do to protect you. Between those two practices, we’re confident we’ll catch 98% of all the tracking that’s happening out there.
But even if a spy pixel sneaks through our defenses (and we vow to keep them updated all the time!), you’ll have an effective last line of defense: HEY routes all images through our own servers first, so your IP address never leaks. This prevents anyone from discovering your physical location just by opening an email. Like VPN, but for email.
HEY puts your privacy above the desires of the marketer, the salesperson, or the rando who wants to know what you do in the privacy of your own Inbox. We’ve got your back. With HEY, you can open email without worrying that someone on the other end knows what you’re doing.
And of course, HEY will never embed spy trackers in emails you send either. We’ll protect your privacy, but we’ll also protect the privacy of anyone you email. Everyone deserves email free from trackers.