Google Street View lets you blur your home and hide it from unwanted “visitors”

Jan 20, 2021

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

Google Street View lets you blur your home and hide it from unwanted “visitors”

Jan 20, 2021

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

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Google Street View lets you take a virtual walk through almost any corner of the world, and beyond. You can even take photos (sort of) as if you’re really traveling. But did you know you can also hide your home from curious virtual “visitors?” If you want, you can request from Google to blur your home from public view.

Google Street View automatically blurs out faces and license plates, as well as inappropriate content such as nudity or violence. You can ask Google to blur any of these by clicking on “Report a Problem” link in the bottom right corner. But also, you can request it to blur out your home.

I wanted to try this out with my parents’ home just to show you, but my street was being repaired when the Google Car drove through the neighborhood. So, you can’t see our house even though it isn’t blurred (quote a privacy protection, right?) So, I chose a random house in our quarter just to show you what it looks like:

I think that a feature like this definitely should exist. Even though we don’t really get much privacy in the modern age, we can at least choose how much we want to reveal. On the other hand, I wonder how Google will know if this is really my house that I’m trying to blur. What if I want to blur a random house like I just showed you, or someone’s business, or even a public place? I wonder if there’s some kind of a way to verify whether that’s really my home that I’m trying to blur. While it’s good to have this option, I think there could also be some potential misuses of it.

[via PetaPixel]

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Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

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10 responses to “Google Street View lets you blur your home and hide it from unwanted “visitors””

  1. Alex Matravers Avatar
    Alex Matravers

    It can’t just be me that sees Thomas The Tank Engine in the blur?! ?

    1. DL Avatar
      DL

      Holy crap; you’re right.

  2. Duncan Knifton Avatar
    Duncan Knifton

    but doing so could also mean the “visitors” thinking…”ooh, what have they got there that warrants them blurring their house out !?” .. ;)

    1. Arthur_P_Dent Avatar
      Arthur_P_Dent

      After the 9/11 attack, the Bush II administration had Google blur out the Vice President’s residence at the U.S. Naval Observatory, for no really good reason.

  3. Matthias Avatar
    Matthias

    The German government obliged them to offer that possibility when they introduced street view in Germany. There wasn’t that much newsworthy at the time so the debate around it garnered a lot of attention. Frankly, the arguments I’ve hear for having your placed blurred are rather absurd and far fetched, at the bottom of it you’ll generally find people’s greed to grab any “right” the law gives them.

  4. George Salt Avatar
    George Salt

    Google has allowed you to remove your property from Streetview for at least a decade, at least in Europe where we care about privacy. They haven’t just blurred the house, they remove the stretch of Streetview from the map from which the property is visible. Given that vehicle-mounted Streetview cameras were able to see over property fences and that vehicles surveyed publiclly accesible private roads/lanes as well as the public highway this has always been a sensible option for Google to provide.

    It goes further elsewhere – there is no Streetview at all in some countries.

    1. Arthur_P_Dent Avatar
      Arthur_P_Dent

      It’s a settled principle of law, at least in enlightened countries, that if something is visible from a public area, it is fair game for photography. Removing sections from Street View just because someone is paranoid is an overreaction.

  5. Arthur_P_Dent Avatar
    Arthur_P_Dent

    To quote Edmund Blackadder, this is the worst idea since someone said, “Yeah, let’s take this suspiciously large wooden horse into Troy. Statues are all the rage this season.” Google Street View cars don’t drive in private areas. They are shooting from a public area, and anything that can be seen there is fair game. Blurring out a building that is visible from the street only fosters an unhealthy definition of privacy. If you’re so damn worried about someone seeing your house, build a large fence or plant a really tall hedge around your property. Don’t trample on the rights of photographers.

  6. crocolde Avatar
    crocolde

    lol how stupid they are first record your home without permision they ask u to hide it from WHO?!FUCKING MORONS

    1. Arthur_P_Dent Avatar
      Arthur_P_Dent

      If it’s visible from a public area, it’s fair game.