What Is a Tracking Pixel?

A tracking pixel, conversion pixel, or web beacon is a piece of code that adds a single-pixel (1×1 sized pixel) image to a web page. They are usually embedded within web pages, online ads, or emails. When a user visits the web page, the pixel image will load along with the website.

The pixel will then send a request to the website server and pass various information such as the visitor’s IP address, browser type, device type, time of the visit, etc. It also helps email marketers track the open rate of their marketing emails, clicked links on the emails, etc. 

Tracking pixels are commonly used in online advertising, email marketing, and website analytics. It provides valuable insights to website owners and digital marketers. However, tracking pixels can be intrusive to users’ privacy as they stay hidden on the webpage, and users are unaware of their presence. 

Hence, major privacy laws like GDPR and CPRA restrict the use of tracking pixels without prior consent from users. Websites using tracking pixels should disclose their use and purpose to their site visitors.