It's Surprisingly Simple to Get Your House Off Google Street View
Like your privacy? So does Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, as we see here.
Just one question: Why does his house vanish into thin air when you drive past it?
At least, that's what happens in Google Street View, the Google Maps feature that lets you switch to a panoramic view of a building or block.
Google will let anyone blur the image of his or her home through a simple process. You find the image you want blurred, click a button to report a problem, and drag a rectangle over the offending photo. Google asks you what type of image you want obscured and offers four options: a face, a license plate, a home, and "Other." The company promises to review requests promptly.
But here's the thing: Chez Zuckerberg, there is no blurring. Instead, Google catapults you past the home like it got sucked into a black hole.
Did the 30-year-old billionaire get special treatment?
Google offered no comment on the space-time anomaly. Facebook didn't respond to requests for comment.
To compile its Street View images, Google dispatches camera-mounted vehicles across entire urban grids, so there's probably a photo of your front door posted online. That bothers some people more than others. Germans, notably, have been wary of Street View, prompting Google to stop collecting images of German streets years ago.
Paul McCartney and Jimmy Page are said to be among the celebrities who have had their houses obscured. Zuckerberg himself became real estate blog fodder last fall, when Street View photographers documented construction work on his San Francisco pied-à-terre.
If you're thinking of filing for a blur, though, note this warning from Google: "Once we apply blurring to an image, it is permanent."
—With assistance from Tom Hall
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