Sexters who are all about caution: This app's for you

Want to keep your sexting private? A new app called SnapChat attempts to limit your risque pics from getting out in the wild, but it's hardly foolproof.

SnapChat
After you snap a pic, you have the option to set a time limit for how long a person can view it. Screenshot by Jason Parker/CNET

By now, we have all seen how it happens. Pictures from "stars," such as Kim Kardashian or Paris Hilton, are leaked on the Web, and all the gossip Web sites spread the pics like wildfire. People also probably remember the scandals that followed Brett Favre and Congressman Anthony Weiner when their pics were leaked and went viral. Even worse, many people out of the public eye will send risque pics to their significant others only to find the pics online when the relationship turns sour.

SnapChat (free) is an app that puts a time limit on pics sent so the person who receives the photo can only look at it for a short time. Once you snap a picture using the app, you can set a time limit, between 1 and 10 seconds, for how long the receiver will be able to see it before it "self destructs" and can't be viewed again. When a person receives the pic on the other end, he or she needs to touch and hold a button to see the picture while a timer counts down before it self destructs.

Of course, the obvious problem with this -- or, should I say, the obvious problem with the app (there are so many problems with this, where do I begin?) -- is the receiver could just as easily take a screenshot of the pic. SnapChat's remedy to this situation is to send the sender a notification if a screenshot is taken, but it seems extremely unlikely this will deter people from doing it.

It's also worthy of note that the developers of the app, Future Freshman, LLC, has said it keeps the photos on its servers, and claims to delete them quickly, but offers no guarantees the pictures will be deleted.

I guess SnapChat is doing something to prevent sexting images from going viral, but it seems to me that not taking the pictures in the first place is still the only logical solution to this "problem."

 

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