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Re: [OCLUG-Tech] how does current email protocol support mail receipt verification?

  • Subject: Re: [OCLUG-Tech] how does current email protocol support mail receipt verification?
  • From: Greg <sphex [ at ] sympatico [ dot ] ca>
  • Date: Sat, 7 Jan 2012 05:10:57 +0000
Bell can probably testify that some packet of bits was delivered to my
modem.  After that, if it mattered and was worth the trouble, most
people on this list could "prove", after a few minutes work, that their
spam filters had trashed it.

Your marketing lady would be off my christmascard list, and her clients
blacklisted, merely for telling me she spies on her clients.

I check URLs and remove identifying info unless I want them to know.  I
read the raw text of html email.. some leading vendor email is so
screwed up that is the only way it can be read.  Reputable banks do not
send emails.

Your lawyer friend does not seem to appreciate the rules of evidence.
The law is littered with precedence and statute defining when a document
can be claimed to have been delivered, and sometimes separately ought to
have been read.  There are reasons why some must be placed in a hand by
a natural person and witnessed by a signature or another natural person,
why some can be left at a registered place of business, why some at a
last know residence, and/or in a newspaper of record.

The Ontario Landlord Tenant Act and Regulations contain some interesting
inconsistent definitions of delivery, memorized to the comma by
unscrupulous landlords' agents.  Corporate "rights" "owners" are buying
laws which stipulate presumption of delivery in circumstances which have
been thought historically to be flimsy at best.

If you were to discover your 'executive assistant' informing
correspondents when mail or email arrived at your office, you could fire
him on the spot.  Nobody except his mother would think to object.
Absent legal compulsion, your neighbour could be liable for damages.

Robert, have you thought to wonder why you did not object to your
marketing lady's behaviour?


Robert P. J. Day wrote:
>   lunching with some friends today, and got into an interesting debate
> with someone who was a lawyer and someone who was a marketing person.
>   we started talking about sending out email, and whether it was
> technically possible to "verify" whether an e-mail was received and/or
> read.
>   the marketing lady was adamant that the way she sent out e-mail was
> to include a URL in the email, so that when the reader clicked on the
> URL for more information, that represented a verification that that
> person *must* have received and read the email.
>   well, sure, but what if they don't click on the link, i asked?  the
> person could very well have received and read the email, then decided
> to not go any further.  so that didn't really prove anything.
>   the lawyer took it one step further, asking whether there was a way
> to absolutely *guarantee* that someone you emailed had read that
> email.  i'm not a mail protocol expert but i thought about it briefly,
> then said i didn't think so, and used my mail setup as an example.
>   people can email me, and i'm fairly sure you can ask for receipt
> confirmation up to a point.  but the final step in my getting email
> involves my doing a manual "fetchmail" to get mail from my mail
> provider.
>   once i do that, the email is on *my* local machine, and i don't see
> how anyone can guarantee to know if i've read that email or not.  once
> i fetch the email, i open up "alpine", at which point i can see all
> the subject headers.  and at that point, i'm quite free to ruthlessly
> delete mail messages based simply on their subject lines, without ever
> reading those emails.
>   i don't see any way, once the email is on my system, that the sender
> can possibly know whether i read that email.  the best i can see is
> that they *might* be able to confirm that i downloaded it.  but i
> don't see any way to confirm anything beyond that.
>   thoughts?
> rday