pixel tracking

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Definition

Pixel tracking is an approach where an image file is sent by a service provider with the intention of collecting information about the recipient.

Use Cases and Examples

Pixel tracking is prevalent in the world of digital advertisement. It is mostly used in situations where a service provider has limited access to an end user's device or software tool.

An example of such a situation is the ability to track who opens an email. There are limited opportunities to collect this kind of information so the sender of an email will usually attach a small image that might not be visible to the email, and when the reader's email client attempts to load up that image it forwards their details to the email sender.

Summary

There are many ethical problems with this approach, and many services provide ways to combat its use.

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