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Not keen on having photos of your house published for anyone to see on Google Maps? You’re not alone. Many people think private property should be private and not visible to anyone with a smartphone. So how do you go about having the photo of your house removed from Google Maps?
Why would you want your house removed from Google Maps?
There are several good reasons why you might want your house blurred from view on Google Street View. These include:
- It doesn’t show your house in a good light – if you’re trying to sell your property and the old Google Maps photo shows the property before it was renovated, it might not be doing you any favours in the property market.
- It’s a gift for thieves – if burglars or car thieves want to case a property these days, they don’t need to go to the bother of visiting first. A look on Google Maps will show them the design of the front door, how easy it is to access the rear of the property, and the cars on the drive.
- It shows your children/family members – although Google is normally pretty good at blurring faces of people caught by its drive-by cameras, it’s not perfect. You might not want photos of your children to be shown outside of your home for security or privacy reasons.
How do you get your house removed from Google Maps?
First, search for your home address on Google Maps on a laptop or desktop PC.
Then click on the little yellow man icon in the bottom-right corner of the screen and drag it onto the map, where your house is situated. Use the onscreen arrows until your home is clearly in view.
Once you’ve got the property on view, click on the small link in the bottom right of the screen that says “Report a problem” and you should see a form like the one below:
Here you can request to have faces, homes, car or car licence plates blurred from view.
You’ll be asked for your email address, although it’s not clear if Google will actually verify if you’re the owner of the property you’re asking to be blurred. I’ve requested to have my car removed from the image of my house (not the one pictured above) to test Google’s verification procedures and will report back. (Update: Google blurred out my car within 24 hours – it didn’t ask for any verification that I was the car/property owner.)
Google warns that once you ask for a property to be blurred, it cannot be unblurred later as the raw photo data is removed. You’ll have to wait until the Street View cars pass your door again to get a photo back.
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