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I sent an email and received an auto-reply stating that the recipient is out of the office and will be on duty after a week. Does it mean that my email has been read by the recipient?

  • @tar The auto-reply tells us the mail has been received where we have send it. The reply content tells us that the recipient is not reachable there. It could imply that the message has been forwarded in some other way than normal email forwarding, then read and acknowledged. The acknowledgement is not a normal email, and must be handled where the initial email was sent to. There it would be automatically converted to an email answer, that would in this case mean the email has been read. (It is not like this) And yes, many real systems are crude like this. – Volker Siegel Jan 1 at 6:15
  • I am wondering if it is possible to send a spoof auto-responder message (I read the email, don't feel like responding to it for the next 10 days). – Salman A Jan 1 at 7:25
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    @SalmanA - It's definitely possible (spoofing anything in email is trivially easy), but most autoresponder messages are nearly-instantaneous after the message is sent, so I (and I assume many other people) would be highly suspicious of an "autoresponder" message that came hours after the original message was sent, so you'd have to be very quick to make it believable. – Dave Sherohman Jan 1 at 10:23
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No. Out-of-office autoreplies are sent by the receiving email server independently of any user action. That's what makes them automatic replies.

It does mean that the mail has been received by the recipient's mail server, but does not directly indicate anything about whether or not a human has seen or read the message. (It does, however, imply that they probably won't see it until they return to work.)

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