The Internet is becoming more and more transparent. Everyone wants to share more about themselves, but they don’t want what they share to be online forever. Social networking services are constantly adding to their privacy policies, but the more they add, the more transparent our lives become. In order for people to share what they want, new apps and services have to be invented. One of those is the OTR app, created by Kris and Andy Minkstein, which sends self-destructing emails.
The OTR app is a direct descendant of the Snapchat app, which promised safe sending of naughty and silly photos. The OTR is more directed at browser shenanigans, and it is an app that allows you to send self-destructing emails to your friends and colleagues. The emails have a 5 second lifetime, which means when the receiver has opened it and 5 seconds have passed, the email self-destructs into nothing but emptiness.
Online privacy has always been a little tricky since it seems everything that is put on the Internet stays there. With Snapchat, it was said that the messages were deleted as well. You could even call them self-destructing in a way, but a news article on BloombergBusinessweek announced that a company is now offering a service that allows you to retrieve all deleted Snapchat messages on your phone for the price of $300. That raises a question about how safe these services really are.
If you think it’s safe to send something with the promise of a self-destructing email and that never really happens, is it still a useful service you would use? Everything digital can be retrieved with the right tools, so the question becomes, how safe are we and how much can we really trust all the privacy policies that are made available to us? The OTR app might allow self-destructing emails, which in itself is a quite interesting and useful feature if you want to joke around a little bit between the mundane working hours you spend in the office. But when it comes to using these self-destructing emails as a resort for sending naughty and personal messages, well, I would think twice before I used it.
Kris & Andy Minkstein’s Self-Destructing Emails App