While a viral blog post from former Twitter VP Mike Davidson thrust Superhuman into the spotlight for secretly tracking email recipients by default (a prominent New York Times article also didn’t hurt), it’s hardly the only email app that uses the technique to quietly spy on whether or not you’ve opened an email, nor even the only one to tell users when you’ve opened it.
He admits that Superhuman was using pixel trackers, spells out how they work, admits they could have been abused by bad actors, and generally doesn’t come across as particularly defensive. “It made sense for read statuses to be on by default when our user base was early adopters,” he says, and now that the company has realized how they can be abused, they’ll be turned off.
Just days after email startup Superhuman was embroiled in controversy over its use of tracking pixels that let users see when and even where recipients opened their emails, company CEO Rahul Vohra is thoroughly apologizing — and promising to change his company.
Effective immediately, he writes, Superhuman will stop tracking location, will delete existing location information, and will turn off read receipts by default. 2/ I know I have come under fire for being quiet.