SECURE PERSONAL DATA WITH PRIVATE RELAY FEATURE

Now users can subscribe to any service they wish but keep their data private. Apple’s new feature allows hiding the actual email address by generating a random and unique one. Here’s how it works!

Private Relay Email is an innovative feature that allows hiding a user’s private address. You can also call it Hide My Email. The feature helps secure personal data. Suppose the user decides to hide the email when creating an account on your website. In that case, the Private Relay feature will automatically replace the original email with a random set of letters.

Imagine that [email protected] is your Apple ID. When you Sign in with Apple, the Private Relay feature will provide you with a unique email, e.g., [email protected]. You will receive communications from the particular service on the private relay address. Another advantage is that you cannot reuse it for another app or website.

Is this a good step towards the security of personal information?

However, as email marketing specialists, we face situations when we need to know a private email address or link the fake one to the original one. For instance, we won’t be able to connect the user’s previous activity, if he:
  • Contacts the support team from the original email address
  • Performs bank transactions on the service
  • Requests to restore subscriptions or purchases on the website
  • Asks to delete your personal data due to GDPR
The situation intensifies when the user wants to reveal the connection between the private relay email.

How to disclose the actual email addresses?
1. Ask the user to resend the message to you. But save the original address.
This way, you will see a private relay address in the email body. Check the screenshot below.
This screenshot shows an example of a forwarded letter that the user received at [email protected]
Headway uses the 3d8712c2 prefix so that their users could reply to their messages. You don’t need it if you try to disclose the personal email address.
2. Ask the user to send you a screenshot or the text from the ‘From’ field.
If the user uses the Private Email feature, the ‘From’ field in all communications will look like this:

[email protected]eid.com

To disclose the original email, go back to the first point and repeat the actions.

3. Ask the user to resend the letter to you if the link maintains the unique user_id.
At Sendios, we add the user ID to the link as a parameter u: https://n.site.com/link/?p=16986&u=1080010303 . If you follow our lead, you will find the user in your database.

4. Ask the user to display the user’s email in the app settings and take a screenshot.
Your developers receive a private relay email when the user logs in to your service. As a result, they can reveal it in the app settings. So, the user will be able to copy it and send a screenshot to you.
To sum up, the Private Relay Email Service provides users with the ability to protect their personal information. In the light of cyber threats, it is a wise step to take. As professionals, we highly recommend respecting your users’ privacy and disclosing the original email only on their initiative.