Google Talk problems – 26/09

Posted by Mally Mclane | Filed under Uncategorized

Google Talk is the instant messenger that our staff see built into their Gmail, allowing quick/easy conversations with your colleagues across the University. Hangouts is Google’s new replacement for Talk and also brings multi-person video conferencing, for free, into the mix:



Whilst these tools are useful, and as a project we used them extensively when people were away from the office, they need to work correctly and on this occassion they didn’t. On Thursday morning, we started seeing reports, both in the media and on Google’s product forums of a possible issue with Google Talk/Hangouts. The issue being reported was that some ‘chats’ were being sent to the wrong person, without any notification to the sender.

We spoke to Google Support and they very quickly confirmed that there was an issue and working with them, we took a decision to completely turn off the Google Talk app to protect our users. Since then, Google have confirmed that any messages sent between 01:30 GMT and 04:30 GMT on the 26th may have been affected and they are confident any messages outside of that time period were sent correctly.

Google have now deployed a fix to prevent this problem happening again and we will be turning Google Talk back on later on Friday.

Although the time period involved does lessen the chance of a UoB message being involved, it does break down confidence in the Google products and for that we’re sorry. We’ll be continuing to liaise with Google and any further information we get will be communicated out to our staff and via this blog.

Mally Mclane
Communication and Collaboration Services Manager
University of Bristol

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