DidTheyReadIt? Not In France

from the there-goes-that-plan dept

You may recall the somewhat pointless hype over a product called DidTheyReadIt, which was simply taking a common spammer tool, the web bug, and letting anyone use it to track who opened their email messages. While they claimed it was “undetectable,” that was simply not true, and the product wouldn’t work at all for anyone who didn’t have HTML email turned on (which everyone should do). Anyway, now reports are coming out saying that France, who has a history of over-reacting to internet fears, has declared DidTheyReadIt illegal. The link is translated from French, so it may not be the most accurate. It’s not entirely clear what this means. Does it mean that anyone using DidTheyReadIt is breaking the law if they email someone in France? Or does it just apply to people who are in France trying to use DidTheyReadIt? And, do we really need a law to protect us from something that is easily stopped by technology? Update: The American press is now picking up on the story, suggesting that it applies to subscribers in France and they risk a five year prison sentence for using the technology. Seems a bit… extreme.

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Comments on “DidTheyReadIt? Not In France”

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Chris Wuestefeld says:

Are we all guilty?

I’ve done this on my own — send an HTML email to someone with an embedded link to an image on my own server, then checked my log to see if the image was ever requested.

If I had sent the email in question to France, would I now have to go to jail? What if I did this not for tracking purposes, but just to avoid transmitting the image, and never looked for it in the log — would that be illegal?

Anonymous frenchie says:

Re: Are we all guilty?

What the french law forbid is not the use uf such a technique, but the fact of attempting someone else’s privacy.
Therefore this law only applies to someone in France using the software to intentionnaly steal private data.
You can keep sending embedded images links! even to France.

VonSKippy says:

Does it really matter?

Once the DidTheyReadIt Corp. Office sends France a friendly “WTF” letter, France will surely surrender.

Lets all send a friendly “obtenez un indice” (get a clue)to the French. Perhaps they already have forgotten the lesson they learned with the “Maginot Line” in WWII.

All this proves the saying “some people are just to stupid to use the Internet.

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