Time and again users of online platforms become victims of privacy invasion. While there seems to be no safe haven from hackers or governments, a new messaging app called Cyber Dust may just rise to the occasion, protecting you and the raunchy details of your life.
Cyber Dust is the creation of venture capitalist Mark Cuban, renowned owner of the Dallas Mavericks and judge on the show Shark Tank. Cuban invested in the app after his fight with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). A link to the case details can be found here. After an uphill battle lasting five years, he was cleared of the charges. The events leading up to the charges became a catalyst for Cuban; the need for a surveillance-free messaging platform was clear to him
“When you send a message, the minute you hit send, you lose ownership,” said Cuban in his interview with Henry Blodget at Business Insider.
The Cyber Dust app boasts simplicity:
- It does not store your messages on a server.
- Once the chat room opens, your message is only visible for 100 seconds.
- Android users cannot screenshot your message.
- iPhone users can screenshot, but you’re notified if they do, and your name will not be visible regardless.
Once a message sends, it’s stored temporarily. Only the sender and the recipient will have access to its contents, and only for a short period of time. . It does not need to go through a “middle-man,” or server, to reach its destination. Once the message is gone, it’s gone for good.
“We collect usage Information, including time, date, sender and recipient of message, the number of messages sent and received, and the amount of time you spend on Cyber Dust. We collect information about your use of our websites, including your browser type and language, access times, pages viewed, your IP address and the website you visited before navigating to our websites.”
To verify for myself, I contacted Cyber Dust and spoke with a staff member who remained anonymous. They told me that they only store the time stamp, recipient, and sender information for 24 hours. Although when I asked about where the servers storing this 24-hour data is located, they gave no response. It’s safe to assume one does exist to hold onto this information, even if only temporarily.
Despite concerns over its central server activity, Cyber Dust is ahead of its competition. Messaging each other without our content tracked on servers 24/7 is a huge relief. In a world where the NSA can tap into your iPhone’s backdoor, Cyber Dust offers to give back to its users the very privacy we are struggling to hold on to.