Does Gmail share IP address, location and email open time details?

Privacy has always been a matter of concern for the end-user. No one wants the contents of their mail to be revealed to third parties, or worse – have their IP address and location known to them. At WWDC 2021, Apple introduced a new privacy feature for Apple Mail in which the IP addresses of your device will be hidden such that senders cannot track when the email is read and by whom.

But what about Gmail? Surely, it would be extremely hard for others to find out your location and IP address just by opening an email. Well, that is the case, for the most part. 

Gmail doesn’t share IP address and location

Gmail doesn’t let your information out so easily. In fact, when you send an email, the IP address that you get from the mail headers is not your own, but of a Google server. So, there is nothing to worry about in that aspect.

Even if someone manages to find an IP address that is not of a Google server, all that they actually have with them is the IP address of an ISP, and nothing more. Any location that might be linked to that IP address would correspond to where the ISP is, not where you are. However, people can use email trackers to fish the details out.

What about trackers?

Email tracking is not new. There are many tracker apps out there that help businesses capture data about their marketing emails – when they were opened, at what time, click-throughs on links, and sometimes even your location. But if the email sender doesn’t explicitly mention the trackers, they are not so easy to recognize. So while Gmail doesn’t share your email opening time explicitly, it also doesn’t prevent third-party services from tracking your email opening times and click-through links. But since most of these programs are free, they cannot hide the fact that they’re being used on an email. So you will always get to know if someone is tracking your email opening times and other details. 

Hence, although Gmail safeguards your privacy and keeps your IP address and location from being revealed to others, there are still ways and means (email trackers) that can be used for the same purpose.