How Websites Know Your Email — On First Visit

You know that little feeling, “maybe I shouldn’t do this?” You probably get it just before filling in another web form, wondering if you should maybe just make something up this time, before another feeling “it’ll be fiiiine…” chimes in. Yeah, you should really start paying attention to the first one.

(Its counterpart — “I’m fucked!” — you can safely ignore.)

It turns out there are ‘website intelligence’ networks out there that, using trackers on different websites, will collect your personal data from one and pass it on to every other site you visit. If and both happen to be clients of the same one, guess which website now knows everything about you?

“Sumit Suman recently visited a site, did not sign up for anything, did not connect via social media, but got a personal email from the site the next day.

Here’s how they did it.

I’ve learned that there is a “website intelligence” network that tracks form submissions across their customer network. So, if a visitors fills out a form on Site A with their name and email, Site B knows their name and email too as soon as they land on the site.

It all started 2 weeks ago when I got a promotional email (anonymized to avoid promotion) offering to

discretely integrate with your existing web site to identify visitors to your website.

I get B2B marketing emails all the time but what caught my eye was the inclusion of a report snapshot for showing names, companies, and emails of site visitors and the information seemed plausible….”


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