Browse Prior Art Database

Content Security/Tracking, email Disclosure Number: IPCOM000021999D
Original Publication Date: 2004-Feb-18
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2004-Feb-18
Document File: 2 page(s) / 17K

Publishing Venue



Method to secure or track email forwarding

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Content Security /

/Tracking, email

Tracking, email


Currently there is no practical way to track an email's path as it is forwarded from user to user . Due to this inability to track emails, using email continues to raises privacy and security concerns .

To illustrate the problem, the following scenario is provided .

To get a better idea of what A and B (see below diagram) have done with my email, I can do two things presently. I can ask for a return receipt for my email and mark the email as "confidential". Knowing that A and B received my email, and cannot forward the email is an example of the first scenario. A manager asking an employee to forward an email on to a team, would be an example for the second scenario. Right now the employee would have to "carbon copy" his/her manager when the email was forwarded to prove it was forwarded. This user interaction should be automated, what if he/she forgot to "carbon copy", or the email got dropped. The manager should be able to trace his/her original email and visually see that it had been forwarded to x, y, and z people. Of course the last scenario could pose a security threat to an organization. Any employee could be forwarding sensitive information to a competitor, being able to trace emails could help stop this kind of security leak . The tracing of an email could easily be defeated by simply cutting and pasting the content out into a new email. The cut and paste option would have to be disabled like it is when marking an email "confidential".

Proposed Solution Summary

The method allows emails to be traced from their creation to the eventual "death" of the email. This would help users be more in...