Google Maps helps me get where I want to go. You can get directions, check out neighborhoods, and even go into Street View so you can simulate driving along the street. However, some people might be concerned that their homes appear on the Google Maps service – especially if they’re concerned with identity theft or have been dealing with the threat of stalkers.
According to Trisha Leigh Zeigenhorn, “people are concerned at the blasé way many of us are treating a serious breakdown in personal privacy. I’m here to tell you why you might want to be worried (if you’re not already) and what you can do about it when it comes to Google Street View.”
Google sends armies of employees out to the streets of America and around the world to capture images of homes and properties along the street. While this service is extremely useful for some industries, like for those involved in real estate, people who want to protect their privacy might feel like they’re exposed and out in the open.
“Those pictures, so you know, can offer views into bedroom windows and other spaces that could be used by less-than-savory folks – like stalkers or thieves – down the road,” Zeigenhorn wrote for Did You Know Facts.
Google Street View was first available in 2007 and was immediately a controversial topic. Fortunately, Google does allow people to blur out their property by following a few basic steps, which are outlined for you below.
“Whether you’re worried about a stalker, value your privacy for other reasons, or just don’t like the idea of any random person on the internet being able to peer into your windows, there’s an easy solution,” Zeigenhorn says.
Here are the six easy steps you can take to blur out your home’s photo on Google’s map service.
- Go to the Google Maps webpage and search for your home address.
- Enter into Street View mode. To do this, simply drag the small yellow icon in the bottom-right corner onto the map. Then, drop the icon in front of your house.
- Click the “Report a Problem” prompt, which is located in the bottom right corner of the screen.
- Center the red box on your home, and select “My Home” in the” Request Blurring” field.
- In the provided field, write your explanation for why you’re requesting to blur your house. You may simply want to express your concern about your family’s safety.
- Enter in your email address, and click “Submit.”
You will then receive an email from Google Maps with a link to a photo of your home that has been blurred.
Zeigenhorn also recommends checking out the Street View Gallery on Google Maps, where you can find interesting and odd photos captured by the Google Street View team.
“From people dressed in chicken costumes to guys surfing down the street, you can find just about anything in the Street View Gallery. I recommend poking around and having a good laugh – it’s one of the many benefits of living in the age of technology,” she says.
Do you think Google’s technology is too invasive?