Weve all heard the stories about someone posting a risque picture on Facebook, then years later applying for a job and having the employer not offer the job partially because of that picture. While the practice may technically not meet legal requirements, first impressions are everything and can seriously affect your potential employment.
Yahoo News is reporting that X-Pire, a German company, thinks that they have a solution to this problem: They have created a way to allow users to input an expiration date for their photos before posting them on sites like Facebook and Flickr. The companys website makes it sounds like the service will act as a proxy, encrypting your images and providing a key when viewed. If the expiration date has passed, the service will simply refuse to send the decryption key. X-Pire is planing on charging two euros a month for the photo-expiration tool, and is working on allowing the expiration of other media such as blogs and homepages in the future.
While the concept may sound interesting, it is worth noting that the service has been created to prevent data from living on the internet forever and is not made to prevent wide circulation of inappropriate images. If you post a picture that you dont want the world to see, theres nothing to stop someone from saving a copy and sending it to anyone they want, thus circumventing the X-Pire system.
Given the limitations, it will be interesting to see how popular this service will be.