0

When a customer talks with a representative of a company in a chat on a web-page, it is possible that they are actually sending every keystroke to their server before you hit the enter or click the send button.

You are bartering over a price and you wrote your first offer and start to evaluate your decision before sending. And, you decided to change your offer, re-write it and send. The real-time typing, however, let the representative see what you wrote before and after the send. This will definitely give an advantage to the representative.

  • Is this a privacy invasion?
  • How a customer can detect this real-time typing view exist in a chat window on a browser?
  • Are there any tools to prevent this?
4
  • 1
    "Privacy" is a matter of degrees when you are talking about active communications. The user is actively engaged in communication in that channel, so "privacy" is not really the concept to apply.
    – schroeder
    Dec 9, 2018 at 13:37
  • @schroeder They learn what one did not intend to send. It may contain some private information that you decided to not share after you write on the chat and deleted but they already saw it. If not privacy what is the correct word?
    – kelalaka
    Dec 9, 2018 at 13:48
  • 1
    Detection: look at the traffic within the browsers developer console. Prevention: Unlikely possible since you use a system designed and controlled by the other party. If you fear that they might read what you type and delete simply don't type and delete but use an external editor to write and edit first and then cut+paste the final result. Dec 9, 2018 at 14:58
  • @SteffenUllrich That should be an Answer. Dec 9, 2018 at 15:01

1 Answer 1

1

Is this a privacy invasion?

I don't think that this is about privacy. You are voluntarily enter content into a message box provided by the other party.

How a customer can detect this real-time typing view exist in a chat window on a browser?

Look at the traffic within the browsers developer console. If it sends data with every keystroke you do it likely transmits all the keys (but could do something else too, so this is not 100%). But that you don't see anything like this does not mean that the edit history is not collected. It could just collect it locally in the browser and then send it within a single request if you submit the message. To be really sure you probably need to have a closer look at the content of all requests exchanged and also at any Websockets communication. In other words: it is likely easy to find out if they do it for sure but harder to make sure that they definitely don't do it.

Are there any tools to prevent this?

It is unlikely that one can simply prevent it at the clients end since the system is designed and controlled by the other party. If you fear that they might read what you type and delete simply don't type and delete but use an external editor to write and edit first and then cut+paste the final result.

2
  • So, there are no simple tools for ordinary people?
    – kelalaka
    Dec 10, 2018 at 10:44
  • @kelalaka: I'm pretty sure that a text editor is available on almost all (desktop) systems and even ordinary people are familiar on how to use it and how to do cut+paste. If you instead imagine a tool which one can just install and which from then magically protects against this - then no. Dec 10, 2018 at 10:51

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .