BBC NEWS | Technology | Self-destruct SMS proves popular: “Thousands of people have subscribed to a self-destruct text message service which started on Sunday in the UK, says the firm behind the system. The commercial service allows sensitive messages to be destroyed 40 seconds after being read.
‘The technology behind StealthText is derived from military technology, so the comparisons with Mission Impossible are justified,’ said Carole Barnum, chief executive of Staellium UK.
Privacy comes at a price. Each text using the system costs 50 pence, though users have to sign up for a minimum of 10 messages.
People interested in using the service to send messages have to register and download a small program onto their mobile phone.
Once a message has been sent, the recipient receives a text notification showing the sender’s name and a link to the message.
After they have opened it, the message disappears after 40 seconds.
Despite the fact the message will be removed from phones, users cannot entirely avoid a data trail.
For legal reasons, a log of the message will remain on a secure server to which they have no access. “
So it’s not really an SMS then, but let’s not split hairs.
I find this interesting that people are willing to pay five times as much for a text message to avoid embarressing situations where the recipient of an SMS does not delete it. It won’t protect from litigation, as the company must hold all messages for legal reaons, so it really is an expensive modesty protector.
And of course as it seems to be some kind of Java appm it won’t work on everyone’s phones, nor is it guaranteed that the recipient can go online to read the message. Talk about niche…