The app erases messages before they're opened —but there's a catch
We’ve all had those moments when we press SEND on a text and instantly feel a deep sense of regret. Maybe you were drinking responsibly and ended up a bit tipsy. Maybe you were having an off day. Hey, maybe you thought sending such a text was a good idea in the moment and later reenacted this classic scene from Arrested Development:
No matter what the circumstances, we all end up with the same thought: “DELETE. DELETE. DELETE. Why is there no way to delete a sent message in 2016?! Do I know someone in the FBI who can hack their phone just to delete this one message? Maybe I can casually show up at their house, borrow their phone, and obliterate this moment of mortification? Oh wait. They’ve definitely read it by now. Alright, I’ll just move to another country.”
See the above scenario? (Sorry if it brings back painful memories!) Well, a new app claims to have the power to fix this 21st-century problem. The program is called Privates and it was created by Dr. Isaac Datikashvili. According to its website, the app encrypts messages so only the intended recipient can see them.
On the app, you can text as you normally would, but with a catch: There are three security settings. Touch Security hides messages until a recipient quickly taps two buttons. Motion Security requires a recipient to hold their phone perfectly upright if they want to see a message. As for Camera Security, to see a message, the recipient must place their face in front of the camera.
You can use one, two, or all three of the above methods to prevent recipients from screenshotting your pics and messages. If they try to do so anyway, you will be notified. Question: Does this mean that the recipient can still screenshot the “encrypted” messages? Based on the app’s description, it seems that one can quickly screenshot messages – all they have to do is complete a series of tests before doing so. In other words: There’s no guarantee?
According to Cosmopolitan, Privates’ users can also delete messages after they’re sent – but only if they work fast. They must delete the message before the recipient reads it or else it won’t work. So it’s like a race? Considering that we all tend to use our technology at a fast pace, this seems a bit complicated. Plus, it’s not as easy as simply deleting a text from your phone – you need to download this app (and use it to communicate with people) first. Is there not an easier way for us to make this happen?
While an app such as Privates would surely make our lives easier (and less embarrassing), many questions still remain. After all, what’s the point of having an app that may or may not work to keep you embarrassment-free?