Self destructing e-mails: It’s not a dream anymore!


Have you ever worried over sent e-mails? Or, have you ever regretted on pressing the ‘Send’ button to hurriedly? Then AT&T may be able to help you.

Self Destructing Email

Image Courtesy: Creativematch

AT&T, one among the major US telecom carriers, has acquired a patent, that may change the future of sending e-mails. According to the US patent numbered 201030159436 titled “Method, System, and Apparatus for Providing Self-Destructing Electronic Mail Messages“, AT&T had applied for the patent of an e-mail client and application, which would provide a way by which the sender will be able to control the behaviour of sent e-mail; like whom the mail could be forwarded to and the time period after which the mail gets destructed, etc.

The conventional e-mail system does not allow the user to modify the settings of a sent message. This is where the new e-mail client and application that this patent assigned to AT&T specifies, comes into play. This application would allow the sender to control the behaviour of sent e-mails. The application allows the user to set a time frame for destroying the mail. It could be set in such a way that, the mail would be deleted at a specific time, or after opening and closing the mail.

This system will be useful mainly for organisations, so that they will be able to send data without the fear of data being forwarded to wrong hands. But common people will also be benefited by this system. We will be able to secure our privacy upto a certain extent through this system . While the data would be deleted from the recipient system, it will still be stored in AT&T’s servers.

As with anything good, certain issues also exist with this system. For the system to work, both clients need the application to be set up in their servers or PC’s. But the main issue is that, by taking simple screenshots, the contents of the mail can be recreated. If AT&T overcomes these faults (the screenshot problem can’t be possibly overcome), this system would have great potential in protecting the privacy of its users.