Google appears to be experiencing some major issues with its chat service today. A large number of users have complained on Twitter and at Google's product forums that messages are being delivered to the wrong recipients on Google Talk. The problems appear to have started earlier today, and result in contacts incorrectly receiving communications that were supposed to be sent to others. Some Google Talk users are also reporting that users outside of their contact list are receiving the messages.
It's not immediately clear what's causing the issue, but it appears to largely affect Google Talk users who have not yet upgraded to Google's new Hangouts service. It's clearly a privacy problem if users of a chat service are receiving the wrong messages, and the majority of complainants have highlighted that. A Google status message confirms the company is "investigating reports of an issue with Google Talk." We've reached out to Google for further comment on the problem, and we'll update you accordingly.
Update: Google says "the issue has been resolved and all services are gradually returning to normal." In a statement to The Verge the company says it has "identified the problem, stopped it from recurring, and are currently working on a fix." A company spokesperson says it is "very sorry to anyone affected."
Massive privacy issue with #googletalk. Just received messages that someone in my contact list sent to someone else.— Carmine Cristallo (@ccristal) September 26, 2013
my gchats are going to multiple people when i try to gchat one person. THIS IS A TERRIFYING SITUATION.— laura royden (@roydraging) September 26, 2013