Sneaky, sneaky charity

Today, I received an email from a charity I support, telling me that they were certain that I wasn't reading the e-newsletter they email me every month. And, because of this certainty, I would no longer receive the e-newsletter.


Now, how would they know if I was or was not reading email that they sent me? I have been reading their e-newsletter, so how is it that they think that I have not?

Well, it comes down to "web bugs"; little bits of HTML code that they sprinkle throughout their emails, that (when read using a web browser) would communicate with their systems, identifying me. If I permitted these "web bugs" to activate, the charity would be able to pinpoint exactly when, and from which IP address, I read their email. They would be able to tell which newsletter I read, what sort of computer I read it on, and which web browser I read it with. They would be able to tie all that information to me because of the configuration of this piece of code. And, because they went out of their way to hide this code, I wouldn't be able to tell that any of this was happening.

Now, I don't read my email with HTML enabled, and because of that, the "web bug" didn't activate, and didn't communicate to the charity's computers. And, thus, the charity thought that I didn't read the email, and accused me of such.

Question: Why would a charity, that I support voluntarily, want to surreptitiously determine when I read their newsletter? I've given them my support (financial and otherwise) without strings, and now they want to sneakily watch me? Is this what I support a charity for?

Perhaps it's time that I stop supporting a charity that wants to spy on me.