A Self-Destruct Button For Your Digital Self

Felix Gillette covers Snapchat, the app that deletes a photo seconds after the receiver views it:

[Viktor] Mayer-Schönberger [author of Delete: The Virtue of Forgetting in the Digital Age] argues that all information created online should come with customizable expiration dates. Not every piece of data would have to expire after a few seconds as photos on Snapchat do. The key, says Mayer-Schönberger, is to include some form of a self-destruct button in everything created online and to give consumers the power to tinker with the settings from the outset.

Michael Scherer expects to see more tools like this emerge:

Technology has created an enormous burden on all of us. Over time, more companies will move into this space, selling not just a way for us to connect to each other–a technology that long ago left novelty and became a commodity–but a way for us better protect our connections by eliminating their trail. (Facebook already has a Snapchat mimic, called Poke.) There is no good reason that emails you wrote three years ago should be so hard to delete, or still be living on the servers of your friends’ email clients.

Previous Dish on Snapchat here. It sure would have saved me some acute embarrassment a decade and a bit ago.