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Thanks to new improvements in how Gmail handles images, you’ll soon see all images displayed in your messages automatically across desktop, iOS and Android. So what does this mean for you? Simple: your messages are more safe and secure, your images are checked for known viruses or malware, and you’ll never have to press that pesky “display images below” link again. 
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134 comments
 
Cool. Btw, is there a way to avoid phone number wrapping inside <a> tag in newsletter?
 
Does this protect against images used for viewer tracking/marketing campaigns?
 
Does this mean that marketers will automatically know that I've opened an email they've sent (assuming I haven't set the "Ask before displaying external content” preference), or are all images requested by Google's proxy even before I view the email?
 
This is great but there should be an option to download images "only when on WiFi" for Android and iOS. Otherwise my 3G data plan could be seriously eaten up by images inside Gmail messages.
 
+Nick Altmann that's exactly what I'm wondering since most email marketers use content pull as the marker of open messages this could get interesting.
 
Any time I can save a click or two, I'm happy!
 
Thank goodness! That was really annoying. 
 
+Nick Altmann +William Hunt Google will open them first, so the information will become useless to marketers. Google will scan for malware, as they mentioned, so they have to open every image.
 
How about the "tracking" images? How do we avoid that mechanism? #sad
 
From the Google mail help pages: "In some cases, senders may be able to know whether an individual has opened a message with unique image links. As always, Gmail scans every message for suspicious content and if Gmail considers a sender or message potentially suspicious, images won’t be displayed and you’ll be asked whether you want to see the images."
 
Sounds like a good opportunity for Google to take exclusive control to that marketing data and make it exclusively available to their customers or available at a premium without allowing Google users any ability to opt out.
 
Gmail considers... I want to consider when to see the pictures.
 
+Jan Mercl Read the post. You will have the option to turn it back on.

Jeez, people complain about everything before reading.

"Of course, those who prefer to authorize image display on a per message basis can choose the option “Ask before displaying external images” under the General tab in Settings. That option will also be the default for users who previously selected “Ask before displaying external content”."
 
+Artem Russakovskii, yes, I'm sure you're right that Google, whose income is almost solely from advertising, is taking this advertising data and disposing of it.
 
+Artem Russakovskii if all images are scanned and show opened to marketers right when Google scans it, that will be great.. But that would mean images would also need to be cached and pulled from googles servers not direct from source or it will show another view right when the user opens it.
 
+Dave Disser What advertising data does this let them have that they didn't already have? They handle your email for god's sake. If you're fired up by this change, you should probably not use Gmail at all because zomg, they show you ads and read your emails.
 
Great! Pushing display images gets tiresome very quickly.
 
+Artem Russakovskii yup it its a proxy, google could control who has access to the real viewed data then 😋 good plan for them. Dynamic images generated server side will be interesting tho..
 
+Dave Disser If Google opens every image and then caches it, every marketer will see every image as read, which invalidates the whole tracking idea behind them.
 
+Artem Russakovskii, this does not solve the issue of spammers, that use the unique tracking URL's of the images, to see whether or not an e-mail-address is actually active. Whether I fetch the image (open the unique tracking URL) or Google's proxy does it, it still tells the spammer that the e-mail-address associated with the unique tracking URL is active, and can be added to the "sell to spammers" bucket.

So unless Google's proxy servers doesn't touch the images until I, the user, actually chooses to load the image, then it's still a rather big privacy issue.
 
+Dave Disser marketers will now get positive hits on every image from every email they send to Gmail addresses. Their databases will light up like a Christmas tree. That renders their whole marketing campaign redundant.
 
congrats Gmail team!  thanks for the awesome feature. 
 
Damn, and here I was thinking the "don't download images" was googles way of saving my phone bill some $$ in downloading image heavy images over expensive 3G.
 
What +Brian Schmidt Pedersen is asking is lejit and certainly not conspiracy-mongering. What happens to those of us who use gmail for private domains, those images being opened linked to spam/marketing trackers will confirm email addresses regardless of if Google's server does it or my browser.

I guess for us, we disable the option and only view images from places we know don't use tracking images.
 
+Grant Bennett How's that different from what happens now? They send you an email:
1. They get a bounceback - email does not exist.
2. They don't get a bounceback - email exists, no matter if you open it or not. Nothing changes today.
 
Hopefully, one can turn off that images are shown automatically. It was quite nice, not to be bothered by those pesky images in emails automatically. Bad move from Google, really.
 
+Artem Russakovskii if you look above +Bikram Day quoted the Gmail help that says they are not pre-fetching your images, so when you open the email that is the time Google will go fetch the image and cache it.

From a marketing/spammer standpoint as long as the image refers to a URL unique to your email address then the tracker knows you (at that email) have opened your email.

There's a difference between a valid email address and an active one.  Spammers are mostly interested in active email addresses and certainly marketers are.  So by not sending an affirmative signal that your account is active (by opening the image) the tracker is not 100% sure that the target account is valuable.  All they know is it exists.

All this change protects is the tracker knowing your IP but that's not typically what marketers/spammers are interested in anyway.
 
Please also add a quality of images setting as I don't want to eat up my dataplan or an ability to turn off images all together in settings 😇
 
+Gmail If a sender uses image URLs unique per recipient, they will still register Google's access to that user-specific URL, so for the majority of users who don't care about changing default settings, this is a step back in privacy.
 
I don't want to contribute to flames, but I think that for this feature google has to explain in the best possible manner how this new feature impacts exactly on mail-tracking, comprising all the cases that can be involved.

Also, I think it would be more correct give the option and the information of enabling it, istead of automaticall enable, giving the option to disable. Many people need to be explained what are the possible side effects on private data.
 
Sorry +Gmail this is a lot scarier that it is useful. You really need to address all these issues commenters are posting :-( 
 
guys, then just disable the setting. What's the problem? It even defaults to disabled for some people, depending on our existing settings.
 
If you want to see how this new initiative will protect you against marketing mail, try an internet search and read some of the outcry from the marketing outfits - they are very, very cross. 

And if you don't want to see images anyway,  just alter your setting in Settings >> General to Always Ask
 
And I always thought clicking was so hard.
 
About time pressing show images drives you nuts.
 
+Artem Russakovskii that's not necessarily so. Google will be receiving tons of copies of the same images from marketers. It would be smart of them to then be serving the images to end users as a CDN not on a per message basis. This would cut server time in scanning and image processing to a tiny fraction of what is being done now even with the show images button. Greatly reducing their costs to deliver messages. It would also in turn greatly reduce marketers server loads as well. They could then choose to serve single blank pixel images (generally used for tracking pulls) on a per image basis which would maintain marketers data. I think we will have to wait and see how the system works exactly.
Google is all about making the experience as fast as possible and I am more inclined to think this is a means to that end delivering what seems like more while costing less at a greater benefit to everyone.
 
Now It's easy to track was message read or not
 
This day the option is available to me. Google leaves the choice to return to the option request before displaying images. +Gmail Thanks for option request before displaying images
 
The way I read this...
- If you say no to this improvement google will not touch your email. links to images will still point to the spammers web servers, and when you download images in spam email you will give the spammer info about you.
- If you say yes to this improvement you allow google to actually change your email so these image links point to copies that google fetch and store on their services. Email marketers will only see google fetching the image once, and will get no info about you.

Through this change the email recipients stay invisible to spammers, as they will not get any notifications about which recipients actually read the email and look at the pictures. It may actually make all gmail addresses a waste of time for spammers. Exactly what google wants, as it would prefer advertisers to use google's services instead of spam.
Hw Wu
 
To avert you from a security sacrifice, don't get excited about it though. It's recommended to turn off this new change. http://cnet.co/18I9xAZ
 
+Hw Wu  It will actually add a load of extra security for all those users who open all images anyway. People who don't understand what they do when opening images in spam email are better off enabling this new feature. I agree spammers who use unique image URL's for each recipient they send to can still detect which recipients read the message. But that is all they get. They are cut off from all of the nice info they get today.
 
I can't download my profile!!!
 
This change - as it is working right now - is only good for lazy people or people that don't care about tracking. -- 
I don't like tracking. Thus now I am forced to decide for each message instead of each sender if I want to see the images or not. -- For me this is  a very bad change.
 
Nice. Good job Google
 
That's wonderful. Add a bunch of great features but make it so hard to find our email link from google+ that we can't check our emails. Way to go tech geeks...........
 
Google should consider opening ALL remote images and then have them cached on their server for use when a person actually opens the email. This way spammers can have no way of telling if their email was opened or not because Google accesses the images regardless of if they are opened.
 
Option on Spam  appears to be adequate...
My Tom
 
I like the new desktop but I usually use my emails on my android tablet
 
Genial! Ya me cansaba de poner siempre! Mostrar Imágenes...
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do not like this give me the regular email account in my gmail please
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si, claro, marin que tal?
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wtf!!! how difficult is it to issue this update around the world?? we all get other google apps on the same day i mean seriously ??
 
i just want to read my email. Where is the link for my mail. Dam
 
Damnit!  I just want to check my email. and all this stuff comes up!!  What the Hell!  I am changing  all my accounts to yahoo or somebody that knows what people want!
 
WTF!!!!
I can't even get to my e-mail. Real fu@%ing handy!!!
 
yeah, access to my mail after I sign in would be nice, real nice, pronto I might add :(  Tried on a multitude of browsers and have spent over an hour trying to use my gmail.  As this is is obviously a problem many others are having please address immediately.
 
I am about ready to snap.  I am trying to work and can't get to my flippin inbox!  This is the most ridicules setup I have ever dealt with.
 
I just got the new look/layout.  It looks great.  I like addition of the tabs.
 
No hay duda eres mujer aunque parescas masorca llena de granos segiras siendo vanidosa jajaja
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Ya Tuhan beri hamba hati yang mengampuni dan bersyukur.
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Another day goes by waiting for the Android update here in Australia. THIS IS FUCKING PATHETIC.
 
Where am I supposed to find my email in this new "Google" interface?  Checked everywhere, unfortunately no toolbar just 8 optional links/sub-directories none of which have access to email.
 
Me too… Where is my email.. I would like to read it now… hmmm. ???
 
Why have you pushed me into Google+ where I cannot access my Gmail??????????
 
Have you figured out how to access your gmail messages? I am lost in this maze of google plus.
 
me too................... can somebody please sort this out. i want my email back..
 
All I want to do is access my gmail account but I'm getting everything but that. There isn't even a tab in google to access it.
 
I'm just trying to check my email and have wasted five minutes and cant seem to find it. WTF!!
 
morons, seriously. I have business emails that i have to access by noon, and google's here sitting on their hands. if i get fired, there's going to be serious problems :/
 
Agree...this new Google+ is absolute crap
 
you bet! how  the hell do I check my e mail  which was  all I  wanted to do..google is crap..waste of time!!!!
 
Totally agree with you...Who in their right mind needs all the crap???
 
I'm with you two, just trying to verify important connection and cannot find it!!! this is abunch of sh*t....
 
I am with you.  all I need is to read my gmail
 
I just want to read my emails, not all this other unwanted stuff that I now find connected to Gmail.
 
How the hell do i get to my emails? I dont want all this rubbish - and i keep changing my photo - but this old one is still there. It si a shambles on gmail!!
 
cum and get it i want pussy
 
Hey is for a sailor, I an not a sailor
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