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Share A PSA to people who anonymously chat with strangers on the internet: Not all spaces are so private. According to security researcher Indrajeet BhuyanOmegle — a free online chat site where strangers are randomly paired for one-on-one chat sessions — is "not as anonymous as it claims.

Omegle's privacy policy states that "Chat messages are screened by an automated system for spam. In general, messages are not stored, but messages which are flagged as suspicious may be stored indefinitely, and select ib may be read by a human being to improve Omegle's anti-spam software, or for other quality control purposes. All of this data is "typically" stored for about days.

An Omegle chat. Mic The issue here isn't that Omegle is claiming that it wlth record the chats on its platform — it states right in its privacy policy that it is collecting a whole lot of information about its users and, based on the "typically" thrown in there, can essentially hold onto all of this data for as long as it pleases.

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The issue is that Omegle is marketed as a space of willful anonymity, where users can develop online companionship with strangers — and unless you read through its privacy policy, you are likely ignorant to the fact that your chat is being recorded from the start. And all of this sensitive information is susceptible stranggers hackers, meaning these private conversations could end up in the wrong hands and become very public.

Chat with random strangers in your area

As the Hacker News reported, these recorded conversations require "little knowledge of hacking" to access, citing Bhuyan's python script, Omegle-Chat-Hackas evidence that someone outside of Omegle can download user's conversations. An Omegle spokesperson said in an that they think Bhuyan's hack was feasible stranges guessing the URL of a chatlog — a random sequence of letters and s — a user has saved.