Tuesday, February 24, 2009

User image propagation from OS X desktop to Gmail via iChat

This feels like it could be a security issue. It's certainly weird.

There used to be a photo of me that was associated with my Gmail account, it was displayed during Google Video Chat sessions.

Today, while testing iChat, I signed in to my Gmail account from my MacBook iChat client.

Afterwords, when viewing my Gmail account on my PC, I found that the Fast User Switching image from my MacBook had become my Gmail account image -- presumably because iChat uses that image as its default chat image.

The original Gmail account image was gone.

Evidently the "Jabber" transactions that seem to underlie Google/iChat credential exchange also propagated my account image to Gmail via iChat.

It's a good thing I don't have exotic tastes in user account images.

12/25/09: Still a problem. This time I think it propagated via MobileMe until it now shows up in my iPhone as my personal picture! The picture I used to have is gone.


Anonymous said...

Aha. I was wondering how my OSX picture became my google picture too, and ichat seems like the answer. Any idea how to stop this from happening?


JGF said...

I gave up on iChat -- too dated compared to Google Video Chat. I don't know of a fix.

I wonder if Apple even knows about the bug.

It sure is weird, and for some people it could be incredibly bad. Imagine if a risque login image became one's google image ...

Vinoth said...

I have another weird problem...whenever I use iChat with google id, the picture in my gmail chat becomes blurred...

I have got rid of iChat and am using Adium now (however buggy it may be)