Social Tool Allows for Tweet Encryption

By Gerard Longo, Assistant Editor — July 31, 2012

Scrambls, a social media plug-in that allows users to encrypt their tweets so only certain individuals can see them, has released scrambls social, an iOS app. The app enables users to integrate the technology with Twitter to encrypt and privatize Tweets on their iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch devices.

Scrambls social can also be used as a mobile browser plug-in for Android and other web-ready devices with the Mozilla Firefox browser. According to scrambls co-creator Michael Sprague, this makes using the plug-in that much easier for users. "Our aim is to provide a mechanism that can pull in privacy controls cross-service and cross-site in a way that’s really simple for the user," Sprague said.

True to its name, scrambls social literally “scrambles” text to users in the Twittersphere who are unauthorized to view it to keep information private until it is meant to be made public. This was the original goal of Sprague and his fellow scrambls developers.

"It started with privacy. We asked, 'Can we encrypt Twitter and how can we go about that,'" Sprague said. "It then became about more than just privacy features; it became about control."

Scrambls social users can read each other’s encrypted Tweets in clear text, while other users outside of those chosen to receive the message and those without the scrambls plug-in will be unable to read the Tweets.

Implications for the Enterprise
Sprague believes this is beneficial in the mobile enterprise for fear of privacy breaches and leaks, may have shied away from using popular social networks as mediums for business-related communication. Sprague stated that scrambls social allows employees to use the social networks with which they are most familiar in a private and secure way.

"I think it becomes a very valuable tool," Sprague said. "We think it provides a very accessible mechanism for businesses to start to leverage common tools and empowers employees with the tools they like to use."

Mobile app developers can use the scrambls social software development kit (SDK) to build their applications and sites with scrambls and enhance their privacy and security features in the process. Scrambls social also provides native apps in order to make the process of building scrambls-enabled apps easier.

"The new scrambls social app demonstrates the simple yet powerful control users gain by scrambling Tweets on their iPhone," Sprague said. "We’ll continue to enhance scrambls social over the coming months, but we hope to see the app development community adopt our SDK to easily add similar features of message security to their own app solutions."

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