Google Hangouts brings universal chat to Google … as well as these privacy problems
EFF’s report contains a reference to an earlier post on Google Developers discussing the significance of maintaining open communications, which directly contradicts Google’s move to scrap the use of the XMPP protocol. According to EFF, Google only got rid of an XMPP subset called server-to-server (S2S) federation.
Allow me to make an analogy to better explain this change’s ramifications. Suppose I like using a chat client like Adium or Pidgin because it allows me to sign into multiple platforms and simultaneously talk to all my friends on different chat lists. Before the change, along with being able to chat with fellow client users, I could chat with someone who was solely online on Gmail chat. Back when Google fully supported XMPP, I had the ability to chat with someone using a non-Google XMPP account (like Jabber.org). This situation, according to EFF, is optimal because users are not locked into a single platform and are able to compare various services in terms of quality, up-time, or adherence to user privacy.