Bluetick defaults to not reading the contents of the emails. When emails are downloaded from your mail server, we read the complete message headers. This process is documented here, starting with Step 1: Initial Mailbox Snapshot.
The message headers include the To, From, CC & BCC fields, Received Date, Subject and Length of the email.
It does NOT include the contents of the email, nor does it include file attachments.
Generally speaking, if data isn’t relevant to how Bluetick operates, that data will not be downloaded.
Below are the exceptions to that general rule.
If an email address of a Contact appears in the To, From, CC or BCC fields of an email header, the contents of that email will be downloaded. If you add a new Contact or update the email address of an existing Contact, Bluetick will identify any email messages that are related to that email address. The next time Bluetick synchronizes with the mailbox, it will begin downloading the contents of those emails.
The intent is to provide the ability to display the content of these emails in Bluetick, while at the same time ignoring data that’s irrelevant to normal operation. This enhances the utility of the service, while at the same time minimizing the risk of storing data that’s not being used.
If an email address doesn’t match that of a Bluetick Contact, there’s no good reason to download the contents of the email, so we don’t do it.
When Bluetick sends an email on your behalf, we store the contents of that email on our servers. Additionally, a copy is uploaded to the Sent folder of your IMAP server so that you always have a copy of it.
The intent is to never hold our customers hostage because we have data (their sent emails) which they may need access to in the future. That’s just not cool.
You can’t send emails to someone who isn’t a Contact, so according to the section above, we would store a copy of the emails anyway. But in addition to this, we need a copy of the contents in order to send followup emails on your behalf that include the contents of previously sent emails, making it appear as if you’re replying to the previously sent email.
Additional Edge Cases
There are situations that arise where in order to make decisions regarding how to accurately process an email, we need to download the contents of the email itself.
For example, if an email is received from mailer-daemon or postmaster, it’s likely to have been sent by a mail server in response to an email that it had received. The two most common situations where this comes up are bounced emails and Out of Office autoresponders. Other responses may indicate problems such as delayed delivery or a full mailbox. They are less frequent, but no less important.
However nothing in the headers of that message indicate the email address it is responding on behalf of. It might include the domain name, but it might not. This depends on the type of mail server.
These edge cases make it impossible to track the message back to the originally sent email it is referring to. These details are often buried in the contents of those emails because they’re written for the person who sent the email, not the mail server which sent the email.
If the patterns identified in the message headers indicate that the contents of the email are likely to have the information we will need to accurately process the email, Bluetick will take the additional step of downloading the contents of that email.