A company that secures business documents through a novel approach — a “Mission: Impossible”-styled self-destruct feature — is bringing the same technology to personal exchanges on social networks like Facebook and Twitter.
Dstrux offers a cloud-based service that allows workers to share spreadsheets or other sensitive business documents over the Web, but retain control over the file. These documents can’t be printed, saved, copied or screen captured. And the sender sets a time limit for viewing the document. Once the time is up, the document vaporizes.
Now, the New York-based technology startup is bringing the same tools to the personal messages and photos people share on social networks. Users control who can see what they’re sharing — be it vacation photos, children’s portraits, etc. — on social networks.
Instead of posting directly to Facebook or Twitter, Dstrux acts as an intermediary and hosts the image or message. The service generates a public link that recipients click on to view (they’ll also need to use Dstrux, which is free). As with business documents distributed through the service, the image or message can’t be printed, saved, copied or screen captured.
Exchanges can be timed to self-destruct or to simply vaporize on command.
“It’s not permanently on the Web,” said Dstrux Chief Executive and founder Nathan Hecht. “It’s there for your friends and family to see for a limited time … and it’s gone.”
Hecht said the idea for Dstrux was born out of a concern that photos or messages distributed online — especially ones you come to regret later — reside on the Internet in perpetuity. His technology ensures that once an image or message is gone, it disappears forever. The service is available through the Web, as well as via a mobile app for Apple and Android devices.
Dstrux is one of a growing number of technologies designed to safeguard user privacy in an era of ubiquitous sharing, from disappearing messaging apps like Snapchat or Cyber Dust, to privacy-oriented messaging service Wickr, which just launched a new way for people to share photos with a group of friends, including an option to stealthily share photos on Facebook.
“In the era of everything being permanent on the Web, Dstrux is a way for things to be temporary,” Hecht said.
This article originally appeared on Recode.net.