Silicon Valley’s email app Superhuman kills location tracking after privacy backlash

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This week, email start-up Superhuman ruffled some feathers. But thanks to the viral post posted by former Twitter vice president of design Mike Davidson who provided the details how one of the $30 a month service’s core features as a run-of the-mill-privacy-violating tracking pixel that transmits data about recipients and geo-location back to the sender every time an email containing was opened.

After this backlash against the company, Superhuman stated that it is canning one of the effects immediately and also changing the others. According to the verge, Rahul Vohra, CEO of the company will:

 “Stop sending geo-location data of recipients to senders, delete its database of existing location data, and will stop setting its read recipients functionality to activated by default.”

However, the company will not remove the tracking pixels completely.

For the ones who do not know but tracking pixels are small images that can be embedded in websites and emails. When it is loaded, they ping the image server they are hosted on with the data required to download them. For example, t requires the IP address of the device that they are loaded on and also the time of download. This can easily notify the sender of a mail where the recipient loaded the tracking pixel.

Vohra posted a blog saying that Superhuman users will no longer be able to access the geo-location data.

Vohra said:

 “I have come to understand that there are indeed nightmare scenarios involving location tracking. He also added that the service offered country or state level data. He is actually sorry for this and also said that this was not their intention. He said, “I wholeheartedly apologize for not thinking through this more fully.”

Vohra also added that while it:

 “Made sense for read statuses to be on by default when our user base was early adopters.”

The company was changing the feature after they got complaints from some of the recent users that they could track people by accident.

Vohra also made it a point to respond to complaints related to the inability of recipients to opt out of email tracking.

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