Internet Options To Remain The Same, But Your Messages May Self-Destruct

Remember those old spy movies, where a shoe turned into a phone, and a watch was a surveillance device? The old spy days may be right now, if recent news about the NSA and our information are any indication. But the computer user may soon have another way to protect not only themselves, but those to whom their email messages are sent. A major internet company has filed a patent that would see email messages self-destructing after a time determined by the sender. AT&T’s filing would mark the first by any internet company.

The patent filing comes as part of the recognition that email messages can end up living on a server or inbox for long period of time that could span years. But there is currently no server feature or any internet options that allow users to control how long an email message lives. This new patent would allow users a few choices, which include deletion after recipient reading has occurred, and restricting any replication of the message. Of course, this may raise a number of new questions with regard to user privacy and security, such as whether or not the message is deleted from servers completely, or simply just from the recipient’s view.