Google Hangouts and Google Talk have been hit by errors that have seen messages being sent to the wrong recipients with the root cause of the disruption not yet known.
The problem, pointed out by TechCrunch, has seen messages sent from legacy Google Talk clients to those using Hangouts be delivered to users not addressed in the original message as well as the intended recipient.
One of TechCrunch’s tipsters explained the process in some more detail by stating that they tried to send a message to a work mate using Google Talk on Windows 7 and found it had been sent to the wrong employee in one instance and a former employee in another case.
Scores of Twitter users have reported similar problems with @irukosama tweeting: "Be careful what you're typing when you're using Google Talk. Experienced this first hand - not a good thing. http://zd.net/15uVMkv @SGgrc."
Another user, @IoanaGuiman, tweeted: "BUG in @google Talk/hangouts today: what I write in one conversation is duplicated in another! Way to go for privacy and security! #fail."
The problem only looks like it’s affecting those trying to send messages from the old Google Talk platform to Hangouts users, though anyone instant messaging via either platform is advised to be cautious. Google is aware of the issue in hand and is already trying to find a solution.
“We’re investigating reports of an issue with Google Talk. We’re sorry for the inconvenience. For further updates please refer to the Apps Status Dashboard,” they said in a statement to TechCrunch.
Google released Hangouts as a standalone app at its I/O developer conference earlier this year and that followed the earlier addition of instant messaging and video to the service. A further enhancement took place last month when the service was upgraded to support HD video chat.