The idea of self-destructing messages has been around for decades. The most recent incarnation, pirvnota’s self-destructing messages, has had a major impact on the messaging landscape. How do these messages work and what are the advantages or disadvantages?
How Do Self-Destructing Messages Work?
A self-destructing message is a message which cannot be accessed after some preset time has passed. Originally, this idea came from the movie The Bourne Ultimatum (2007) where Jason Bourne sends data to Pamela Landy via a self-destruct app where the private note message disappears after being read, leaving no trace on either of their phones.
How Can Self-Destructing Messages Be Used?
Self-destructing messages can be used for a number of sensitive applications. They can be used for corporate messaging, such as an email which is deleted 10 minutes after being read. They can also be used for secure communication, such as between lawyers and clients, where everything is deleted after a certain period. They could also be used in chat apps to hide conversation content from your ‘friends’.
What Problems Might There Be With Self-Destructing Messages?
Self-destructing messages could easily get out of hand if applied to forums or social networks where everyone will want to limit their time on it. Some things, such as private messages between two people, should not be easily visible to everyone on a forum or social network. People should therefore be given the option to decide what type of self-destructing message they want, how long it lasts for and whether it is public.
Is There A Way To Reverse This?
Pirvnota’s app offers no way of reversing the action other than changing the time limit before deletion. This means that any data sent this way cannot be retrieved once it has been deleted. If these messages were used for sensitive information, such as bank passwords, this could cause serious problems for those who used them if they didn’t have a backup or have issued an alert that their password has changed.
Why Is Self-Destruction A Good Idea?
Self-Destructing messages are a low risk, secure method of sending sensitive data over the internet. They can be used to erase information from one’s device and prevent it from being recovered by law enforcement or spying agencies. They can also be used for destruction of evidence, such as photos or financial information on a mobile phone.
How Viable Are Self-Destructing Messages Right Now?
Pirvnota’s app has recently been removed from Apple’s app store, due to issues with their technology and not releasing all their code open to review. This means that the technology behind self-destructing messages is not yet widely adopted.