Privacy concerns over who’s listening, collating and collecting our phone calls, emails, and web history have reached levels that would make for a great Thomas Pynchon novel, if truth weren’t so much stranger than fiction.
Today’s paranoid novelists (and the web surfing public) have to keep up with real-life concerns over the National Security Agency, Google’s panopticon, Facebook’s social experimentation, and everything that every telecom provider knows and wants to know about you.
Enter anonymous messaging and social networks that don’t collect information about you, or even store any of the things you send through their services. Snapchat’s impermanent messages begat Confide‘s encryption and self-deleting messages, which have now begotten Wiper, a new service that’s raised $2.5 million to provide a self-deleting messaging service controlled by its senders.
Available now on iOS and Android, Wiper began out of the frustration felt by Manlio Carrelli, former chief marketing officer at Intermedia, and his co-founders Alex Hoffman, who heads engineering at the company, and Michael Choupak, the founder of the email cloud provider Intermedia, and sole backer in Wiper’s seed round.
“Everything that I’m putting in these places, it’s completely obscure and impenetrable to me how long these companies are keeping it for,” says Carrelli. “That’s why we made Wiper. You touch a button, and the information shared via Wiper is deleted from your phone, my phone, and our service.”
Carrelli and his team began working on Wiper’s New York-based technology in late February. The service combines features from confidential messaging services like Confide and popular public messengers like WhatsApp and Snapchat. Wiper users can make phone calls, send images, or texts and have complete control over when that information is deleted. The service also alerts users when the receiver of a message tries to copy, screengrab, or take a picture of the content on a device.