At their WWDC21 event on Monday, Apple announced a host of new privacy changes coming to iOS15, not least of which is Mail Privacy Protection, billed as a way to protect privacy for users reading their emails.
In order to make email rich and engaging, emails often contain remotely-hosted images. When a mail program displays one of those emails, remote images are fetched, revealing when, roughly where, and on what kind of device the mail was opened. Many marketing emails now include unique image URLs for each user, or even invisible pixels, specifically to link this information to people when they read their messages. This resulted in people choosing between text-only emails to preserve privacy, or rendering emails with full content, but revealing mail activity. In iOS 15, we're introducing Mail Privacy Protection. People can choose to have iOS privately load remote message content, hiding their mail activity. This is really cool! And it's great news for you. More people will read your emails, with all the images and visuals you included.
In the past, I've written about the legal issues I see surrounding open tracking. I've also spoken about the issue on the excellent EmailTalk podcast alongside some great email marketers.