Do you recall the Mission: Impossible franchise, where self-destructing files were a thing? Xerox PARC engineers have now come up with a chip that can shatter into numerous small pieces.
The new chip was revealed Thursday at an event hosted by the Devense Advanced Research Project Agency (DARPA). Violation of online data and the possibility of private information being put in jeopardy, are two of many reason as to why DARPA decided to take launch this project.
Gregory Whiting, a scientist at Xerox PARC, California, reported that the chip had to do mainly with things such as data security.
In the past few years digital technology has grown drastically which made people fear for the privacy of their personal information. This lead experts to try and come up with self-destructing technologies that could secure important data in the future.
The new computer chip developed by PARC will soon become the first of many self-destructing chips. The chip is built out of a material called Gorillas Glass – which is also used in making smartphone displays – and it is sensitive to certain triggers that can generate the shattering of the glass. Radio signals or mechanical switches are two things that could lead to the self-destruction of the chip.
Alicia Jackson, project manager for DARPA, stated that: “The breakdown of such devices could be triggered by a signal sent from command or any number of possible environmental conditions, such as temperature.” The goal was to create electronic devices that would last for however long people needed them, added Alicia Jackson.
There are several other companies who already use the concept of self-destructing data.
Snapchat is one famous example that has gained a lot of popularity since its launch in 2010. This smartphone app allows users to take photos or videos and add short captions or drawing before sending them to a list of recipients. After the recipient opens the snaps, they will be deleted from Snapchat’s servers in a time span of 10 seconds.
As of June, the Gmail service has released an “Undo Send” option which allows people to cancel a sent e-mail, but it can only be used for 30 messages, wrote the company on its personal blog.
Experts say that PARC’s new chip could be very useful when dealing with things such as computer security. If the chip were to fall into the wrong hands, it would protect any secret data by destroying itself on command.
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