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Sex, Lies and Texting

July 30 2010

textingThe average adult racks up 10 text messages in a day. Teens average 50 per day, or 1,500 per month, so says a new study just published.

Although Americans once lagged in text messaging, U.S. teens have zoomed right past many other countries says Rich Ling, a professor at IT University of Copenhagen.

Many are even predicting that texting will soon be more popular than calls.

So whether you’re President Obama, sports legend Tiger Woods or a hardworking Realtor® texting could be something you will be dealing with more extensively in the not too distant future.

We all know that digital data is notoriously hard to destroy. So the explosion of texting is creating a new concern regarding privacy. Even the Supreme Court is already struggling with this issue in a case involving a police SWAT member.

Is this concern real or only to those who have something to hide. What are your options?

Promise of a Solution

You can of course decide to not text or email. OK, let’s be realistic, that’s probably not going to happen.

Enter a recently announced new smart-phone app named TigerText. It claims to put the sender in control of text messages and allows the sender to automatically delete the messages from both the sender’s and recipient’s phones. The sender can also set a “time to expire” for a message, which can be as soon as 60 seconds after it is opened.

“It brings safety and peace of mind to anyone who sends messages that are intended to remain private,” says Jeffrey Evans, founder of X Sigma Partners. TigerText is already available for the iPhone, iPod Touch and new BlackBerry devices. Currently the app runs free for the first month, but after that you end up with a premium of $2.00 a month or $20.00 dollars a year.

Despite the company’s claims, the product is more evolutionary than revolutionary, said Mike Wade, chief technology officer of Planet Data, a legal discovery management firm. The app is the latest in a long line of tools, such as anonymous e-mail and chat servers and point-to-point texting, intended to avoid monitoring.

Keeping them Honest

  • TigerText does not actually remove any data from the user’s phone because as the data is never on your phone. The data is all resident on the server in their facilities.

  • Don’t think you can remove any message. This only works if both phones have the app installed.

  • If someone really wanted a copy of the message they can always take a screen shot or photo of their phone.

For now assume anything you email or text is recorded. So before you hit the send button for your next email or text, think how it will look like in the courtroom.

About the Author

Nineteen-time author Stefan Swanepoel publishes the annual Swanepoel TRENDS Report and the annual Swanepoel SOCIAL MEDIA Report. His reports are widely regarded as the leading research on the most important business and technology trends impacting the real estate industry.

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