UPDATE: It seems this has been discussed in Google’s product forum since may.
Let me start by saying that the NSA bit in the title is only a joke that might as well be true given the current circumstances. Despite that, it is worrying that it is now impossible to completely disable chat history in Google’s chat services.
Last May, Google revamped its chat platform, moving from gTalk to Hangouts. Google still allows non-accepting users to go back to the old system. The problem is that now both systems do not have any option that would allow users to disbale chat history completely. I know for a fact that gTalk used to have this feature, which by the away it is still illustrated in Google’s Official documentation even though isn’t available anymore.
Below we can see Hangouts’ chat settings screen, presenting only an option to disable the entire chat service.
The same thing happens if we revert back to the old system. We can see no option to disable chat history in gTalk’s chat settings screen:
I don’t know if hangouts used to have this option before, but the important thing here is that neither gTalk nor Hangouts has it as of now.
I can’t see the reason for that, unless Google is trying to force users into giving more private information against their will.
I hope this is reverted back the way it was.