I am noticing intense usage of image/pixel/web-beacon tracking through service emails lately, sometimes through non-secure domains and/or third-parties. My list of senders includes financial institutions, credit bureaus, airlines, online travel agents, mobile service providers and Spectrum.
I regularly receive my payment confirmed emails infested with tracking images that are sending unknown data to Spectrum server every time I open those emails. I consider the use of tracking pixels image in essential service emails as unwanted, deliberately hidden to collect data, and unauthorized invasion in to my privacy. Spectrum is also a better judge here as to where exactly it originates from, and clearly it made its way into my non-Spectrum em ail in a non-Webmail and non-browser dependent fashion, unlike cookies, without any prior disclaimer, which is becoming an industry standard for them after GDPR and CCPA. This being automatic opt-in, invisible, lacking disclaimer of prior authorization, with no option to opt-out is not an acceptable situation in any sense.
I am aware of
1. total image blocking from my email
2. using pixel blocking add-on in the browser,
3. use of mail client with pixel tracking blocking capability.
But an easier solution could have been the senders stopping this hideous practice, to get my trust back. After 6 weeks of denial, attempt to reach me over phone which I asked to keep private, or asking me to call, semi-admission, complete indecision and inaction from the Spectrum support team, I am here again to have a discussion and a few suggestions/comments. Thank you.
Solved! Go to Solution.
"This is a peer to peer forum."
In theory, yes. But highly moderated. And the best way to reach out to my peers IMHO, as the issue is affecting everybody.
"Contact Spectrum by phone or social media directly."
Tried phone, email, snail mail and this forum. And I do not use social media.
Dear Fellow Spectrum-ers,
Here are a few things to consider about tracking through images/pixels/web-beacons:
Any thought, discussion or measure to eliminate tracking through essential service emails?
Thank you in advance,
When you change your bill delivery preference (paper/paperless), you get a confirmation email with a tracker (at the bottom of the screenshot, in yellow) that phones home to hxxp://click.sc.spectrumemails.com/wf/open?upn=xxxxxxxxx
As I, and presumably everybody else, continue to get web beacons through automated essential emails from Spectrum and hear nothing but silence, I would like to point out that the pixel tracking sub-domain is not encrypted, unlike most of the other trackers I came across, and thus the communication is prone to eavesdropping without deep packet inspection and direct man-in-the-middle attack. Together with default Spectrum email settings allowing image autoload and HTML view of the email content, this sounds like an ideal combo exposing our online presence to hacks by our own ISP, who is presumably providing us with a secure internet.
Here is an article describing tracking pixels as pre-hacking tools: https://www.bleepingcomputer.com/news/security/email-tracking-pixels-used-for-pre-hack-info-gatherin...
Here is a part of the conversation, with the person who was banned for posting about web beacons:
Spectrum: "We do not track customer behavior outside of our portal (website) or webmail platform. Should an email message originate from a platform that inserts beacons/third party trackers, it may reside on our email platform and contain a beacon/third party tracker, but that beacon would not be inserted by Spectrum. This information was given to us by our product teams."
OP: "So, 1. Do we conclude that Spectrum does use web beacon in Webmail? 2. I do not agree with the rest of your statement. I do not use Webmail, and my non-Spectrum email receives tracking tools regularly that my mail client needs to detect, block and display."
2 is still true.
Suggestions for Spectrum/Mods:
1. Doesn't injecting web beacons count as breach of email security? If so, Spectrum needs to stop tracking customers by removing these from service emails.
2. A major security issue originates from image auto-loading and reading emails in HTML. Spectrum needs to stop keeping its email system vulnerable by default. Please change these settings in Spectrum mail.
3. Mods need to stop removing posts for no apparent reasons. If desired, make threads like this sticky to begin with, so that they are closed for further comments. Post containing 1 & 2 above was removed from an originally non-sticky, open and unlocked post, which was locked afterward.