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Browse Prior Art Database

Self Destructible Documents

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000107325D
Original Publication Date: 1992-Feb-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-21
Document File: 2 page(s) / 91K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Johnson, W: AUTHOR [+4]

Abstract

A need has arisen that allows documents to be automatically deleted upon expiration of their purpose. A user may not want a sensitive document to exist for long periods of time. The user of such documents needs assurance that the document will be deleted and/or not copied.

This text was extracted from an ASCII text file.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 52% of the total text.

Self Destructible Documents

       A need has arisen that allows documents to be
automatically deleted upon expiration of their purpose. A user may
not want a sensitive document to exist for long periods of time. The
user of such documents needs assurance that the document will be
deleted and/or not copied.

      Prior methods allow the creator or distributor to attach
profile fields to contain the validation life of the document.
Unfortunately, deletion through this process requires a bilateral
agreement between the originator and distributor. The originator must
specify the date and recipient's service must delete the document.
The recipient's node must have a service that compares the system
date/time to the expiration time of the document. If such a service
does not exist or is inoperable, the document could exist past its
validation life. Resources, such as storage, would be unnecessarily
expended. A method is desired whereby a bilateral agreement is not
necessary for the deletion of a document. This article describes a
method whereby the document is intelligent enough to delete itself
upon fulfilling its purpose.

      A service can be provided at the originating node that allows a
user to invoke a cartridge for the object. This cartridge can operate
as an executable shell for the presentation of information within the
document. The service would allow the originator to specify a date/
time and/or an event that would invalidate the object. This
invalidation parameter would indicate if the object is obsolete and
should be destroyed.

      The date/time and event information would be contained by the
cartridge.  Unique identifiers can be associated with particular
events. This permits an event to be recognizable as of occurring if
the application generated the Unique Identifier for the event (e.g.,
125509THZ can represent an identifier that a document has been read
by the chairperson, an editor would then generate 125509THZ to an
Event- Activated application to signal that the event has occurred).
Furthermore, an encryption process also can be invoked to prevent the
confidential segments from being exposed. This document can be
distributed through the network.

      Upon a recipient's re...