After years of satellite imagery and Google Maps cars driving around our neighborhoods, Google is offering the world a little more privacy by allowing us to blur or completely remove Street View photos which would otherwise reveal the locations of our respective secret lairs.
This is more of a public service announcement than anything else, but if you see a picture on Google Street View which shows information you would like others not to see (i.e. your house layout, nearby car license plates, your morning face as you fetch the newspaper), you can report it to Google and they’ll do their best to blur it out.
How to Hide Your House From Google Street View
To hid your house, follow these steps:
- Go to Google Maps or the Street View gallery
- Find your house in Street View
- Select ‘Report a problem’ from the three-dot (kebab) menu (upper left of Google Maps) or the link (bottom left on Google Earth)
You will be taken to an online form which requires you to provide details on what you want to blur, why you want to blur it, a reCAPTCHA to prove you aren’t a robot, and an email address (very important, this one). This is all to prevent spam requests for the blurring of locations (or even worse, entire areas). Google will review your request and (hopefully) take the appropriate action.
If the photos you have issues with are taken by someone other than Google, you can still fill out the request form and Google will do their best to contact said person to have the pictures blurred.
But what if you’re the one who took a picture someone has issue with?
Blurring out a picture is just as easy. All you need to do is open Google Maps, click on Your Contributions in the Menu tab, find the photo you want to delete and delete it. Deleted photos will then be removed not just from Google Maps, but from Google Search and Google Photos as well.
One word of caution: once you blur the image, it can never be unblurred. According to David Murphy of Lifehacker, he believes this request continues for future Google Street View photos as well. So should you opt to blur your house, it shall remain so indefinitely.