WO2013010187A1 - Method and system for private electronic messaging - Google Patents

Method and system for private electronic messaging Download PDF

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Publication number
WO2013010187A1
WO2013010187A1 PCT/US2012/046972 US2012046972W WO2013010187A1 WO 2013010187 A1 WO2013010187 A1 WO 2013010187A1 US 2012046972 W US2012046972 W US 2012046972W WO 2013010187 A1 WO2013010187 A1 WO 2013010187A1
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WO
WIPO (PCT)
Prior art keywords
user
message
screen
messages
application
Prior art date
Application number
PCT/US2012/046972
Other languages
French (fr)
Inventor
Justin Travis SCHWARTZ
Original Assignee
Schwartz Justin Travis
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date
Priority to US201161508037P priority Critical
Priority to US61/508,037 priority
Application filed by Schwartz Justin Travis filed Critical Schwartz Justin Travis
Publication of WO2013010187A1 publication Critical patent/WO2013010187A1/en

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Classifications

    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04WWIRELESS COMMUNICATION NETWORKS
    • H04W4/00Services specially adapted for wireless communication networks; Facilities therefor
    • H04W4/12Messaging; Mailboxes; Announcements
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04LTRANSMISSION OF DIGITAL INFORMATION, e.g. TELEGRAPHIC COMMUNICATION
    • H04L51/00Arrangements for user-to-user messaging in packet-switching networks, e.g. e-mail or instant messages
    • H04L51/02Arrangements for user-to-user messaging in packet-switching networks, e.g. e-mail or instant messages with automatic reactions or user delegation, e.g. automatic replies or chatbot
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04LTRANSMISSION OF DIGITAL INFORMATION, e.g. TELEGRAPHIC COMMUNICATION
    • H04L51/00Arrangements for user-to-user messaging in packet-switching networks, e.g. e-mail or instant messages
    • H04L51/38Arrangements for user-to-user messaging in packet-switching networks, e.g. e-mail or instant messages in combination with wireless systems

Abstract

A message is received at a server from a first client application of a first computing device. The message is transmitted from the server to a second client application of a second computing device. The message is permanently deleted on the server, on the first computing device, and on the second computing device.

Description

Method and system for private electronic messaging

This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Application No.

61/508,037, filed July 14, 2011, which is hereby incorporated by reference.

Background

Messages such as SMS messages and other text messages send to and/or from mobile devices are currently stored on one more servers through which the messages are transmitted. The servers are generally inaccessible to the a sender and receiver of a messages.

Sent messages and received messages are also stored on the sending and receiving mobile devices. Though a user can delete a message, that does not ensure that all traces of the message are deleted from the device. With near certainty, it means that the user is merely unable to view the data but a person of sufficient skill and motivation could still extract copies of the "deleted" data through various well known techniques or widely available software.

Furthermore, these same problems exist for MMS messages and any other type of message that, may include, alone and in combination, text, images, video, audio, and the like.

Thus a need presently exists for private messaging systems and methods. Summary

A message is received at a server from a first client application of a first computing device. The message is transmitted from the server to a second client application of a second computing device. The message is permanently deleted on the server, on the first computing device, and on the second computing device.

Brief Description of the Drawings

FIG. 1 shows a text messaging system 100.

FIG.2 shows a method for securely sending text messages FIG. 3 illustrates a plurality of screens displayed by a mobile application and relation to one another.

FIG. 4 shows a splash screen.

FIG. 5 shows a disclaimer screen.

FIG. 6 shows a login screen.

FIG. 7 shows a retrieve password screen.

FIG. 8 shows a password display screen.

FIGS. 9-11 show invite screens.

FIG. 12 shows an about screen

FIG. 13 shows a screen for adding friends.

FIG. 14 shows a screen displaying a conversation between two users.

FIG. 15 shows a conversations keyboard screen.

FIG. 16 shows a picture display screen.

FIG. 17 shows a display screen showing friends of the user.

FIG. 18 shows a friends screen.

FIG 19 shows an options screen.

FIG. 20 shows an exemplary mobile device architecture.

Detailed Description

Private text messaging systems and methods (referred to herein as "Privatext" or "private messaging application") enables users to securely send and receive messages such as text messages and picture messages ("messages"). In this way, text messages cannot be saved, intercepted, or forwarded.

The private messaging application enables users to send private messages on a mobile communication device such as a smartphone ("phone" or "mobile device") with confidence that the life of the message will be limited from the time sent, whether viewed or not viewed by the recipient.

An online server-based platform manages the storage and deletion of messages based on rules governing the life of the message. The application includes the ability to maintain an approved "buddy list", to receive and view new messages sent to a user id, the ability to send messages to a user id that has agreed to allow the user to send messages to them (e.g. to the user approved by them and on their buddy list). The user can send text-based messages or send pictures taken with the camera of a phone. Images sent appear on the recipient's phone screen in a manner that is readable but difficult to capture. For example, the images could be blurred.

The application erases all pictures and text message sent by the application. The application also has secure code or pins that the user must know in order to add people to a buddy list. Privatext will also allow a user to refresh their codes or pins whenever the user chooses to do so. The codes or pins are prevent unauthorized users from viewing the information that is being sent.

FIG. 1 shows an exemplary text messaging system 100 for sending and receiving secure communication between one or more mobile communication devices. The system 100 includes the computer network 102, a first server 104 for receiving and storing data from applications executing on a first and second mobile communication devices 120, 122. Devices 120, 122 may be smartphones, computers, Android based phones,

Blackberry phones, iPhones, and the like.

The server 104 may be in communication with a first database 110 and second database 112. The server 104 may comprise the databases 110 112. In another example, the second database 112 could be located on a second server 105. The databases may be stored on separate storage devices (such as hard drives) or they may reside on a single physical device and be logically separated.

A first user and second user operate the first and second mobile communication devices 120, 122. The first database 110 stores messages that the users 114,116 have sent to one another. The second database 112 stores site content, purchase information, and user information. The server 104 deletes the messages stored on the first database 100 on a periodic basis. For example, the server could delete the messages every 20 minutes.

An application 150 (e.g., Privatext) executes on the first and second mobile communication device 120, 122. The application is a mobile application that may be downloaded from an "app store" and installed on the mobile device. The application 150 sends messages to the first server 104. The server 104 then store the messages in the first databases 110. The server 104 send the messages to corresponding applications of the devices of the other users. For example, the first user may send a message to the server 104, and the server 104 may send the message to the second user 116.

The application also comprises functionality to encrypt the message, for example by way of well understood methods such as SSL, public key encryption, and the like. The message and metadata of the message may be encrypted during transport and may be encrypted when stored on the mobile devices and in the databases.

The application also comprises functionality to modify the screen refresh rate of the mobile communication device. For example, the refresh rate can be randomized to prevent a picture of the screen form being taken by another device. The application also deletes any messages stored in the memory of the mobile device on a periodic basis, for example, a time period specified by the user.

It should be understood that FIG. 1 shows only one configuration and deletions of the messages on the mobile devices may also be controlled by signals received from the server. Also, there may be a plurality of mobile communication devices in addition to the devices shown 120, 122. The computer network 102 can be a wireless network, a wired network such as the internet, a LAN or any other type of network that communicates digital data.

FIG.2 shows an exemplary method for securely sending text messages. The user confirms that he has read a viewable disclaimer (Step 200). If a password is set to YES, the application will open to a black login screen (Step 210).

The login screen will request password entry. A user can use either the main password or the BACKUP password. The BACKUP password will lead to a restricted buddy list (e.g., public buddies). The login screen will also include a link for "Forgot My Password", which will open a screen to answer secret questions, and thus retrieve the BACKUP password.

After successful login, an opening splash screen will display an image of the Privatext application, and then lead to the main home screen (Step 220). If the password is OFF, or the password was successfully entered, an opening splash screen will reinforce the bold and serious image of the private text application, and then lead to the main home screen (Step 230).

On the main home screen, main navigation for the application will comprise three main tabs on the LCD screen, for example, a "Buddies", "Settings", and "About" tab. The user can press a tab and be led to the respective screen. A "SIGNOUT " button will be available to immediately return to the black login screen or exit the application (Step 240).

The "About" screen provides basic information about the application, using the application, and support information (Step 250).

The "Settings" screen will allow for configuration (Step 260). An access code present in the settings screen allows an application generated code to be provided to approved buddies. A user can generate a new access code at anytime, but existing buddies will not have to update the code.

A login and password is also present in the settings screen. The password can be set to OFF or ON. If the user sets the login and password to ON, the user will need to enter a main PASSWORD and a unique login ID. The user will also need to enter three secret questions and answers for the "Forgot My Password " feature . The user will also enter a backup PASSWORD. When the backup PASSWORD is used to enter the application, the user will be taken into the application buddy list, but only public buddies will be shown. If the user forgets the password, the user will be able to use the "Forgot My Password" feature from the black login screen. At that time, if the user successfully answers the secret question, the user will be able to view the backup PASSWORD.

The "Settings" screen also provides for a password reset ability, which will update the backup PASSWORD with the new password, and then put the old backup PASSWORD into the main PASSWORD. The settings screen also provides for a message expiration period. The period can be set to a message expiration period within a range, for example, from 2 minutes up to 20 minutes. The period may have a default value, such as 10 minutes. Message expiration causes the message to be deleted wherever it is stored, whether on the mobile devices, the server, or any other computing device.

A "Buddy List" screen is provided at step 270. The buddy list will show a list of all buddies that the user has added to the application. If a message is detected for a buddy, the application will highlight the buddy. The buddy list screen will allow a user to select (for example, by tap or touching an electronically generated icon, or "button", on the screen of the mobile device) a buddy to view a buddy view screen. This screen shows existing message from that buddy and includes buttons for "Send Message" and "Send Picture". The user can also delete the buddy. Also, if the buddy has not accepted an invitation, no buttons will be available other than "INVITE" or delete. If the user currently has an invitation from that buddy, the user will have an "ACCEPT" and "REJECT" button.

The Buddy List screen allows a user to set up a "New Buddy". Setting up a new buddy occurs after the user and a potential buddy exchange current access codes manually. The user taps a "New Buddy" button to enter a new buddy and enters a

"familiar name", as well as a valid access code. If the access code is valid, an invitation message is sent to that buddy. Once they accept the invitation, the user can send or receive a message for that buddy.

The user can control the expiration of the invitation message the same way the user can control it for a regular Privatext message, for example by setting an expiration time of 2 - 20 minutes. When setting up a new buddy, the user indicates if they are "Public" or "Private". Private buddies are hidden when the backup password is used.

A "Message View" screen is the main screen for exchanging messages and is reached after tapping the name of a buddy on the buddy list (Step 280). The message view screen can function as the main message box for viewing messages sent and received. The view will show messages the users send as well as any message the user receives for any messages that have not yet expired.

A CLEAR button clears all active messages for that buddy view window. Any text message sent or received are permanently deleted and disappear upon time expiration Text message exchanges (for example, "conversations") are shown in sequence as they occur until they expire or until the history is cleared. Sent messages indicate if they have been viewed.

Any image message received is shown in a blinking fashion make it difficult to successfully capture the screen image, either with a camera or with a screen-capture utility. For example, the refresh rate of the screen could be set to cause the images to blink. Image messages disappear upon time expiration. Images transmitted on at a time and separately the text message conversation view. Images also indicate if they have been viewed. CLEAR will permanently delete and clear any current image whether stored on the server or on any device.

After selecting a buddy from the buddy list, a user will be able to start a new conversation (e.g., by text message) for that buddy (Step 290). A user can type into the text input box and type a message, for example, up to 500 characters in length. A user can tap the "Send Message" button. If the user selects the "Send Message" button, but the current access code for the buddy for the user is not correct, or the buddy has not yet accepted the invitation of the user, the a pop-up dialog box is displayed on the screen of the mobile device that indicates that the user cannot send a message to the buddy until the user enters the correct access code for the buddy. The current default setting for message expiration period is shown. The default setting may be modified.

When viewing a buddy, the application provides an option to send a graphic file, for example, by using a "Send Picture" button (Step 299). This will allow the user to take a picture and send the picture to the buddy. If the the "Send Picture" button is selected, but the current access code for the user on file is not correct, or the buddy has not yet accepted an invitation, the a pop-up dialog box is displayed that indicates the user cannot send a picture to the buddy until the user enters the correct current access code for the buddy. The current default setting for message expiration period is shown and the user has the ability to change it to the available options for this message. The user is also be able to select an image from the phone's photo gallery.

One exemplary setting where the mobile application may be used is at colleges, for example, at fraternity or sorority parties where Privatext is made available upon admission. The mobile application may be distributed at any type of party and as part of a promotion at clubs. Exemplary users include, users sending indiscreet photos or images, teenagers whose parents check their phones, college students who are sharing embarrassing stories, photos, or are "sexting" one another, business professionals who want to discuss confidential information without the risk of it being intercepted or recorded, adults who wish to keep their private affairs confidential, and users who cannot afford unlimited texting.

Privatext allows users to securely send private messages (e.g., private text messages) to friends, loved ones, and acquaintances. For example, messages can be sent to spouses, girlfriend or boyfriends, business associate, or other users where

confidentiality is necessary or desirable. Privatext communications are secured and the users messages cannot be forward to others by a recipient of the secured message.

Privatext messages exist for a limited time, for example 20 minutes.

Buddy Lists in Privatext are secured by changing Pins, changeable naming, and the inability to search for others who use Privatext. Buddy Lists and other user data may be encrypted before it is stored. If a user does not know a PIN of a second user, and the user does not accept the Privatext invitation, the user will not know whether or not the second user uses or has the application.

Privatext has a Backup Password option that allows a first user who does not want a second user to know who they communicate with to hide user selected "buddies" after providing the second user with their password.

The mobile application disables "Screen Capture" utilities running on the mobile device. For example, if a user receives a picture and the user attempt to copy the picture by way of a screen capture utility, The mobile application will shut itself down, thus avoiding the "screen capture".

The application provides for a login, where a user enters either a public or private password. The application also allows for multiple passwords. For example, a public password that gives access to all public contacts and a private password that gives access to all of the public contacts and private contacts. Private contacts may include business associates and family members that the user would not want anyone having access to in the event that the mobile communication device is misplaced or lost. The private password also has confirmation alerts that allow the user to confirm the contact with the second user with which the first user will engage in conversation. For example, the confirmation alert prevents a user from sending an employer a text meant to be sent to a friend.

The application also provides for contacts. The user can specify the length of the contact request's lifespan and the name of the contact. The application will display the remaining time for a message, for example, the message may have a time unit displayed or at a predetermined time the user is notified.

Privatext integrates with social networking sites, such as facebook and twitter through well understood APIs.

The methods and systems may be implemented on any computer communicating over any network. For example the computers may include desktop computers, tablets, handheld devices, laptops and mobile devices. The mobile devices may comprise many different types of mobile devices such as cell phones, smart phones, PDAs, portable computers, tablets, and any other type of mobile device operable to transmit and receive electronic messages.

The computer network(s) may include the internet and wireless networks such as a mobile phone network. Any reference to a "computer" is understood to include one or more computers operable to communicate with each other. Computers and devices comprise any type of computer capable of storing computer executable code and executing the computer executable code on a microprocessor, and communicating with the communication network(s). For example computer may be a web server.

References to electronic identifiers may be used which include, but are not limited to, email addresses, mobile phone numbers, user IDs for instant messaging services, user IDs for social networking application or mobile applications, user IDs and URLs for blogs and micro-blogs, URIs, bank account or financial institution numbers, routing numbers, credit and debit cards, any computer readable code, and other electronic identifiers to identify accounts, users, companies, and the like.

The systems and methods may be implemented on an Intel or Intel compatible based computer running a version of the Linux operating system or running a version of Microsoft Windows, Apple OS, and other operating systems. Computing devices based on non-Intel processors, such as ARM devices may be used. Various functions of any server, mobile device or, generally, computer may be implemented in hardware and/or in software, including in one or more signal processing and/or application specific integrated circuits.

The computers and, equivalently, mobile devices may include any and all components of a computer such as storage like memory and magnetic storage, interfaces like network interfaces, and microprocessors. For example, a computer comprises some of all of the following: a processor in communication with a memory interface (which may be included as part of the processor package) and in communication with a peripheral interface (which may also be included as part of the processor package); the memory interface is in communication via one or more buses with a memory (which may be included, in whole or in part, as part of the processor package; the peripheral interface is in communication via one or more buses with an input/output (I/O) subsystem; the I/O subsystem may include, for example, a graphic processor or subsystem in communication with a display such as an LCD display, a touch screen controller in communication with a touch sensitive flat screen display (for example, having one or more display components such as LEDs and LCDs including sub-types of LCDS such as IPS, AMOLED, S-IPS, FFS, and any other type of LCD; the I/O subsystem may include other controllers for other I/O devices such as a keyboard; the peripheral interface may be in communication with either directly or by way of the I/O subsystem with a storage controller in communication with a storage device such a hard drive, non-volatile memory, magnetic storage, optical storage, magneto-optical storage, and any other storage device capable of storing data; the peripheral interface may also be in communication via one or more buses with one or more of a location processor such as a GPS and/or radio triangulation system, a magnetometer, a motion sensor, a light sensor, a proximity sensor, a camera system, wireless communication subsystem(s), and audio subsystems.

A non-transitory computer readable medium, such as the memory and/or the storage device(s) includes/stores computer executable code which when executed by the processor of the computer causes computer to perform a series of steps, processes, or functions. The computer executable code may include, but is not limited to, operating system instructions, communication instruction, GUI (graphical user interface) instructions, sensor processing instructions, phone instructions, electronic messaging instructions, web browsing instructions, media processing instructions, GPS or navigation instructions, camera instructions, magnetometer instructions, calibration instructions, an social networking instructions.

An application programming interface (API) permits the systems and methods to operate with other software platforms such as Salesforce CRM, Google Apps, Facebook, Twitter, social networking sites, desktop and server software, web applications, mobile applications, and the like. For example, an interactive messaging system could interface with CRM software and GOOGLE calendar.

A computer program product may include a non-transitory computer readable medium comprising computer readable code which when executed on the computer causes the computer to perform the methods described herein. Databases may comprise any conventional database such as an Oracle database or an SQL database. Multiple databases may be physically separate, logically separate, or combinations thereof.

The features described can be implemented in any digital electronic circuitry, with a combination of digital and analogy electronic circuitry, in computer hardware, firmware, software, or in combinations thereof. The features can be implemented in a computer program product tangibly embodied in an information carrier (such as a hard drive, solid state drive, flash memory, RAM, ROM, and the like), e.g., in a machine- readable storage device or in a propagated signal, for execution by a programmable processor; and method steps can be performed by a programmable processor executing a program of instructions to perform functions and methods of the described

implementations by operating on input data and generating output(s).

The described features can be implemented in one or more computer programs that are executable on a programmable system including at least one programmable processor coupled to receive data and instructions from, and to transmit data and instructions to, a data storage system, at least one input device, and at least one output device. A computer program is a set of instructions that can be used, directly or indirectly, in a computer to perform a certain activity or bring about a certain result. A computer program can be written in any type of programming language (e.g., Objective- C, Java), including compiled or interpreted languages, and it can be deployed in any form, including as a stand-alone program or as a module, component, subroutine, or other unit suitable for use in a computing environment.

Suitable processors for the execution of a program of instructions include, by way of example, both general and special purpose microprocessors, and the sole processor or one of multiple processors or cores, of any kind of computer. Generally, a processor will receive instructions and data from a read-only memory or a random access memory or both. Some elements of a computer are a processor for executing instructions and one or more memories for storing instructions and data. Generally, a computer will also include, or communicate with one or more mass storage devices for storing data files. Exemplary devices include magnetic disks such as internal hard disks and removable disks, magneto- optical disks, and optical disks. Storage devices suitable for tangibly embodying computer program instructions and data include all forms of non-volatile memory, including by way of example semiconductor memory devices, such as EPROM,

EEPROM, and flash memory devices; magnetic disks such as internal hard disks and removable disks; magneto-optical disks; and CD-ROM and DVD-ROM disks. The processor and the memory can be supplemented by, or incorporated in, ASICs

(application-specific integrated circuits).

To provide for interaction with a user, the features can be implemented on a computer having a display device such as a CRT (cathode ray tube) or LCD (liquid crystal display) for displaying information to the user and a keyboard and a pointing device such as a mouse or a trackball by which the user can provide input to the computer. The display may be touch sensitive so the user can provide input by touching the screen.

The features can be implemented in a computer system that includes a back-end component, such as a data server, or that includes a middleware component, such as an application server or an Internet server, or that includes a front-end component, such as a client computer having a graphical user interface or an Internet browser, or any combination of them. The components of the system can be connected by any form or medium of digital data communication such as a communication network. Examples of communication networks include, e.g., a LAN, a WAN, wired and wireless packetized networks, and the computers and networks forming the Internet.

The foregoing detailed description has discussed only a few of the many forms that this invention can take. It is intended that the foregoing detailed description be understood as an illustration of selected forms that the invention can take and not as a definition of the invention. It is only the claims, including all equivalents, that are intended to define the scope of this invention.

Claims

What is claimed is:
1. A private messaging method comprising the steps of receiving a message at a server from a first client application of a first computing device, transmitting the message from the server to a second client application of a second computing device, and permanently deleting the message on the server, the message on the first computing device, and the message on the second computing device.
PCT/US2012/046972 2011-07-14 2012-07-16 Method and system for private electronic messaging WO2013010187A1 (en)

Priority Applications (2)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
US201161508037P true 2011-07-14 2011-07-14
US61/508,037 2011-07-14

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PCT/US2012/046972 WO2013010187A1 (en) 2011-07-14 2012-07-16 Method and system for private electronic messaging

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WO (1) WO2013010187A1 (en)

Cited By (2)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
EP3454509A1 (en) * 2013-05-30 2019-03-13 Snap Inc. Apparatus and method for maintaining a message thread with opt-in permanence for entries
US10439972B1 (en) 2013-05-30 2019-10-08 Snap Inc. Apparatus and method for maintaining a message thread with opt-in permanence for entries

Citations (2)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US6757713B1 (en) * 1998-09-23 2004-06-29 John W. L. Ogilvie Method for including a self-removing indicator in a self-removing message
US7610345B2 (en) * 2005-07-28 2009-10-27 Vaporstream Incorporated Reduced traceability electronic message system and method

Patent Citations (2)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US6757713B1 (en) * 1998-09-23 2004-06-29 John W. L. Ogilvie Method for including a self-removing indicator in a self-removing message
US7610345B2 (en) * 2005-07-28 2009-10-27 Vaporstream Incorporated Reduced traceability electronic message system and method

Cited By (2)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
EP3454509A1 (en) * 2013-05-30 2019-03-13 Snap Inc. Apparatus and method for maintaining a message thread with opt-in permanence for entries
US10439972B1 (en) 2013-05-30 2019-10-08 Snap Inc. Apparatus and method for maintaining a message thread with opt-in permanence for entries

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