Explicit Gmail referrer

Posted by joy


Recently, I had a visitor who clicked through a link in an email he/she received via Gmail. That isn’t so unusual, what was unusual was that the referrer read like this…

http://mail.google.com/mail/?account_id=username%40gmail.com

And thereby the visitor’s Gmail address was shared with me, merely by the visitor clicking through an email link. Normally, Gmail referrers look something like the example below (and yes, other Web mail providers - Yahoo Mail, AIM, MSN, etc. have similarly obscured referrers.)

https://mail.google.com/mail/?auth=somereallylongalphanumericstring

I suspect that the visitor was reading his/her Gmail through something other than an official Gmail client, but I don’t know what.

[tags]Gmail, referrer, Web mail [/tags]


2 Responses to “Explicit Gmail referrer”

  1. Andreas Says:

    I saw that too on some mails! I will test it later - perhaps I will find a solution.
    -Andreas

  2. Yaniv Golan Says:

    Same here. I see this consistently from the local version of hotmail (hotmail.co.il). Scary.

    So our privacy depends not only on knowing which web services to trust, but also on our estimation of the technical know-how of their dev teams…

    I guess that as Scott McNealy of Sun said… “You have zero privacy anyway. Get over it.”

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