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Ask HN: Does the GMail app snatch embedded links?
5 points by TravelTechGuy 70 days ago | hide | past | web | 3 comments | favorite
I started noticing that every time I click a link, embedded in an email I receive in my GMail app on Android (e.g. http://www.example.com), the browser opens the following link: https://www.google.com/url?hl=en&q=http://www.example.com&source=gmail&st=387456384756&usg=ADFSDRT6.

My questions:

1. Why does Google feel the need to snatch links?

2. Is there any way to prevent the GMail client from doing that? Besides the obvious privacy concerns, it takes longer, and consumes more data to open an email link.

3. Can this be avoided by switching to a different mail app, or are the others equally creepy?


1. Google tracks links because the information is valuable. It can be used to build a better profile of you, and understand what people are reading online.

2. You can use a third party app, switch from GMail, or if it's the URL is in plain text, you can copy and paste.

3. If you switch to another app, you might be OK. I'd suggest finding either something opensource or something that you pay for. Remember, if you're not paying with money, then you're paying with something else (privacy).

I'm wondering if I'm the only one noticing this? I'd have thought other people would raise stink about it.

Paste link as text (without link).

People would have to copy and paste it in browser - but it should avoid hijacking links.

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