Google has announced that in order to enhance user security, Gmail will no longer source images from email senders to display them to the users. Instead, Google will store these images on Google’s servers and feed them to the users. Images will be directly displayed in the emails.
Most popular e-mail clients do not automatically display images from the sender. Instead, an option is given to the user to retrieve these images. In simpler terms, what happens is that when a user decides to view images, a request is sent to the sender’s server to fetch those images. When such requests go out, the email sender is able to obtain the user’s IP address. They can also customize their emails on knowing which emails the user responded to. It does not leave much to be inferred that spammers can decide what kind of promotional materials they can send.
Gmail, in its effort to protect the user will from now on store such images on its secure proxy servers. Images will be loaded from these servers instead of being served from the senders’ servers. By acting as an intermediary agent, Google hides its Gmail users from marketeers.
Users can customize how to display images by choosing the option “Ask before displaying external images” under the General tab in Settings. This option will be default for users who previously selected “Ask before displaying external content”.
Updates for the desktop client is already underway. For mobile users, the updates will happen in early 2014. Further information can be had by reading this post.
Source: Gmail Blog