A 'self-destructing' text message system could spell the end for the leaked sex message, or the embarrassing late-night drunken rant.
The messaging system, TigerText Inc, makes sure that once a text has been sent it automatically self-destructs on the phones of the sender and receiver after a pre-set amount of time.
The secret-keeping invention is available for free download for Blackberry, iPhone and various other smartphone devices.
TigerText has already been downloaded by about half a million people and the California-based company say it has developed a niche following among guarded celebrities and businesspeople with trade tricks to protect.
Once the sender has downloaded TigerText they can send a text while setting a time period for the deletion of the message.
The text moves across the TigerText network before being sent to the receiver. As soon as the receiver opens the text the expiration process is triggered and it will vanish from both phones at any time between 60 seconds and 30 days.
Sender and receiver are prevented from forwarding the text or saving it.
"It's like a DVR. People don't think they need it until the second they get it. Then they can't live without it," the Daily Mail quoted Brad Brooks, TigerText's president, as saying.
TigerText say they do not keep any messages on their server, so once the text is gone it's completely irretrievable and cannot be used 'in evidence against you'.
The system also works for picture messages, so could help end the cult of the leaked sexting image.