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I was wondering if I can get read confirmation from messages sent through Gmail. Conversely, Gmail's behavior concerning confirmations from senders is unclear to me. Does it automatically send read responses, or does it simply ignore them?

My question concerns exclusively native Gmail features, without plugins or <img> tag hacks. And please: I do know that e-mail confirmations are a weak system and can be easily circumvented and so on. Enough preaching can be found here.

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Ok, so you are asking about both directions, not just sending them.

It does not matter whether you are sending or receiving regarding the web UI. You cannot do anything concerning read receipts in GMail. If you send a message from Outlook with a Read Receipt, GMail ignores it.

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