Tuesday, July 28, 2009

There May Be a Solution

For the next time you call your sister a bad name on Facebook. Or tell your brother that his baby is not really that cute. New and interesting:

"On the internet, data lives forever. Once you post something to the web, you see, you simply can't take it back. Many people have had to learn this lesson the hard way, unfortunately, after discovering that the "delete" button doesn't really work to delete something from the internet as a whole. The embarrassing missive lives on and on, in the web service's archives, in Google's cache, and eventually in the Internet Archive itself.

That may be about to change, though, thanks to a new tool created by researchers at the University of Washington. Called "Vanish," the system places a time limit on any message posted to any web service through a web browser.

Perhaps the most amazing thing about Vanish is that it's capable of erasing messages posted practically anywhere on the web. For example, the system is able to erase messages from any web-based email system like
Gmail, Hotmail, or Yahoo, instant messaging chats, or even social networking sites like MySpace or Facebook."

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