'Trackbuster' Service Aims to Strip Tracking Information From Incoming Emails

Trackbuster is a new service that's designed to remove invisible tracking codes from incoming emails, preventing companies and marketers from tracking information like the time an email was opened, IP address of the recipient, which links were clicked, and more.

Many of the popular email marketing tools on the market include tools for tracking various metrics of emails that are sent out, embedding cookies and web beacons, which are tiny tracking images that let the sender know when an email has been opened. Links or attachments that are clicked within an email are also often tracked using tracking codes.

There are often few options for blocking trackers embedded in emails and these involve feature-limiting functions like removing all images, but Trackbuster plans to change that by working in the background to analyze and remove hidden tracking codes from emails to prevent users from unwittingly sharing information.

trackbuster
Trackbuster is currently in beta and limited to Gmail and email accounts managed via Google Apps. The Trackbuster service can be connected to a Gmail account, where it scans for specific tracking strings. According to the team behind Trackbuster, the service only scans for codes within email addresses and it does not store, host, or read the content of emails. No data is shared and no data associated with the email is kept by Trackbuster.

After an email account is connected to Trackbuster, the service will analyze the last 100 emails received and all new emails going forward. Incoming emails with tracking codes are filtered into a [Bustedbox] folder, the code is removed, an [Untracked] label is added to the email and it goes into a dedicated [Untracked] folder.

Because it works by connecting directly to a Gmail or Google Apps account, Trackbuster works in web browsers and with any mail software on any device, from Macs to iOS devices.

Trackbuster will be available today in a closed beta for a limited number of beta testers, who can sign up on the Trackbuster website. The company plans to continue adding additional beta testers throughout the summer.



Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
44 months ago
That looks like a great product. I hope it becomes available for those of us who use standard IMAP mail hosts. Removing these sorts of trackers from mail hosted by Gmail is a step, but, well, if you're expecting privacy while your mail is hosted by Gmail, you've already lost.
Rating: 11 Votes
Avatar
44 months ago

There is is. An Anti Google email and you managed it in post 1. BRAVO!!


Oh shush it was an insightful comment with a witty conclusion. If it was just anti-Google bashing you'd know about it.
Rating: 7 Votes
Avatar
44 months ago

so if not gmail, what do you guys use for email, besides a personal mail server?

It's the best way. Domain is $8-12/yr. Not expensive.
Hosting varies, I've seen it as inexpensive as $4/mo for email and more webhosting tools than you can hope to utilize. There might even be an email only service somewhere even less expensive.

Doesn't change when you change ISP. You aren't sheep, to be indexed by an advertising company.

edit: late edit.
Hover.com
.com is 15/yr (private registration included, and 2way auth) and fancy email is $20/yr... or $2.91/mo
And you have personal control of your information. The prime spot where all your password resets go, your bills go, etc.

Take control for yourself.
Rating: 5 Votes
Avatar
44 months ago
Let's flip this. Occasionally I would like to know whether a sent e-mail has been received and read. Rather than fending off other people's trackers, I'd like a piece of software that would permit me to add my own.
Rating: 3 Votes
Avatar
44 months ago

There is is. An Anti Google email and you managed it in post 1. BRAVO!!


Some of us like a little less advertising in our email, nothing wrong with his comment. I have been shocked at how much faster a service like Fastmail is than Gmail and there are no ads. Nothing wrong with communicating that preference.
Rating: 1 Votes
Avatar
44 months ago

Let's flip this. Occasionally I would like to know whether a sent e-mail has been received and read. Rather than fending off other people's trackers, I'd like a piece of software that would permit me to add my own.


Indeed.

It's archaic that we still don't have read receipts for email.
Rating: 1 Votes
Avatar
44 months ago

Let's flip this. Occasionally I would like to know whether a sent e-mail has been received and read. Rather than fending off other people's trackers, I'd like a piece of software that would permit me to add my own.

Of course, you'd be "outed" by anyone using this service. ;-)

so if not gmail, what do you guys use for email, besides a personal mail server?

Yahoo, Hotmail/MSN/Outlook.com, iCloud, AOL (those are the other pre-configured IMAP profiles in iOS and OS X Mail).
Rating: 1 Votes
Avatar
44 months ago

That looks like a great product. I hope it becomes available for those of us who use standard IMAP mail hosts. Removing these sorts of trackers from mail hosted by Gmail is a step, but, well, if you're expecting privacy while your mail is hosted by Gmail, you've already lost.

There is is. An Anti Google email and you managed it in post 1. BRAVO!!
Rating: 1 Votes
Avatar
44 months ago
Or you could use any Apple mail app and turn off the downloading of all content. I guess this is a step further though.
Rating: 1 Votes
[ Read All Comments ]