Sunday, September 27, 2020

"How to blur your house on Google Street View (and why you should)"

Very popular in Germany where even ordinary volk have a heightened sense of privacy.
From Mashable:
Google Street View offers up a window to the world in all its bizarre, intimate, and often raw glory. 

That window just so happens to peek into your home, as well. What that peek reveals may be more than you've bargained for — think views into bedroom windows, potential fodder for stalkers, and more. 

Thankfully, there is something you can do about it. Specifically, you can ask Google to permanently blur your house out — leaving only a smeared suggestion of a building in its place. The entire process is surprisingly easy. 

As the name would suggest, Street View, launched in 2007, provides a street-level view of many cities and towns around the world. Captured by roving vehicles and individual photographers equipped with camera-laden backpacks, the service has been controversial from the start — both in the ways you might imagine, and ways you might not. 

In 2008, the Minnesota suburb of North Oaks decided it didn't want pictures of it up on Google's service, and threatened to cite Google for trespassing. Google pulled the images down.
In 2009, the lobbying organization Privacy International filed a formal complaint to the UK's Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) alleging that Google failed to properly de-identify the people it captured. As a BBC report at the time noted, that type of failure could have serious repercussions. 

"Among them were a woman who had moved house to escape a violent partner but who was recognisable outside her new home on Street View," read the article, describing complaints made to Privacy International. "Also complaining were two colleagues pictured in an apparently compromising position who suffered embarrassment when the image was circulated at their workplace."

And that's just the obvious stuff....

Granted, if your crib is one of the places in the post immediately below, the blur itself is going to be a tell-tale but that's where your pre-positioned sound cannons and nausea inducing LED lamps come into play. Just to keep the intrusive Google guy on his toes.