What the Tech?: Blur Your House
CHARLOTTE N.C.- You may have thought it was pretty cool at first. Seeing your house on Google Maps and Google Earth. Now, it’s kind of creepy. And putting pictures of private residences online for anyone in the world to see, has reportedly put some people in danger.
Singer Billie Eilish reportedly had a stalker go to her house 7 times finding it on Street View. She got a restraining order and blurred images of her home.
How do you do that? Go to Google Maps on a computer or your phone, and you can virtually walk down almost any street, looking at houses, maybe seeing someone in front of their house.
All of the photos are taken from a satellite. If that’s too much for you, Google will blur your house, your face, and other objects.
Go to Google Maps and search for your address. Then, take the little yellow figure in the right-hand corner of the screen to drag and drop onto the street. There’s your house. Move up and down the street and you’ll probably see the side of the house, the driveway, and your car.
Google captured these images with a camera on top of a car. It’s legal because they capture the video from public streets. You won’t be able to force Google to remove the images, but you can ask that your house be blurred out when it appears on Street View.
With your home in the picture select, “report a problem” and blur your house, face car or license plate, or another object, by lining it up in the red box. You’ll need to provide Google with information to prove it is your house. then choose a reason. Google doesn’t provide an answer that you just want it to be blurred, so choose “misplaced image”. Google will contact you by email for more information.
Google does a pretty good job blurring license plates but it isn’t perfect. I found an image of me driving through a parking lot. Zooming in, my face is blurred but you might be able to tell it’s me and my car. Google will blur that image as well.
There’s hardly any reason for your house to be pictured on Google. But before you decide, be aware once you do, it’s permanent.