I talk about things I find interesting. I find a lot of things interesting… Automated online order tracking

by Ken Arnold on Fri 22 February 2013 is an interesting site. They track your online orders by tracking the email that sites send you about order status.

You set it up by pointing it at your mailbox. It scans through looking for order-related emails. It uses those emails to know what you ordered, when, for how much, when it was shipped, the tracking numbers, which credit card, and so on. You can track your entire set of online orders without any more work besides giving it access to your email.

I mean, like, your email. The place where you have your lovers send you notes. The place where some sites send you your password on reset. Where your mother mails you financial info. That place.

They promise they won’t look. And I’m sure they won’t, in the sense that “they” means the company. But who knows who works there and how nice those people are?

So I’ve done the obvious (which they suggest): Set up a separate email box and use that, having that box forward to your regular mailbox. Then do your commerce with that as your email address.

They also have a list of mail sites they work with, which are most of the major ones. This means if you use a less common one you’ll have to set up a new mailbox anyway.

Still, I pointed it at my mailbox and it did a good job picking up the status. I think I’m going to like this.

(Yes, clearly they mine that purchasing data and resell it, which is why the site is free. Meh.)

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