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Google Talk Logs and Gmail

There were some questions recently about IM reference and one of the things I mentioned was running a jabber server locally and then connecting to the resources that the library needed to. One of the benefits of jabber is that the protocol is open and XML based so it is rather easy to parse and log. This gives the potential for some analysis of what is coming through to the reference desk. Logging could potentially be set-up so that it did not log the username of the person contacting so that it is more anonymous.

Well low and behold I see this may have been one of the reasons Google chose jabber as a protocol for their Google Talk. I know have a chat folder in my Gmail account that has logs of my chats (I had to turn it on) to anyone with my gmail talk account. It’s important to note that I’m using alternate clients that are Jabber compatible, not the official google client, so the logging is being done on the server side. They state that you can go “off the record” so that a contact you are talking to also does not log but since I don’t use the official client that won’t be possible. Since Google continues to expand their offerings such as Google Desktop and Toolbar, I can see it only being a matter of time before all your bookmarks and files are easily accessible from your Google homepage. They really are becoming the one stop search. The have a page describing how to disable the feature for those of you who don’t have an account.