SINGAPORE - Google Chat and Google Hangouts users worldwide were shaken on Thursday after their private conversations ended up being routed to unintended recipients on their contact list.
Private messages between two individuals would be sent to various parties on their contact lists.
The glitch in Google's messaging system was first noticed around 1pm (local time) today.
Users vented their frustrations on social media platforms such as Twitter and Google forums, lambasting Google for the privacy breach.
The error, which appears to happen for real-time chats, has so far affected multiple browsers and mobile operating systems, based on feedback on forums.
Google Hangouts version 1.1.2, which replaces Google Talk, was just updated on Wednesday (Sept 25).
Other Google services do not appear to be affected, although users noted the seriousness of this privacy breach, and threatened to abandon the email service.
When queried, a Google spokesman said: "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."