With the rise of increasingly convenient features such as street-level 360º photos available on Google Maps and other competing mapping services, there’s always a risk your personal data will be captured in a publicly available photo in a way you’d rather avoid — whether than means the outside of your house or the location where you park your car.
If you face this kind of a problem, there’s a simple solution available in many cases — you can ask the mapping service to blur or remove the picture. We’ll going to show you how to do that on the most popular mapping services.
How to hide your house on Google Maps
Google Maps’ Street View is incredibly useful, but you might have valid reasons for not wanting your property to be captured on the service. If you are uncomfortable with the having a picture of your house available for the world to see, you can ask Google to blur it. To do this, open Google Maps and search for your address or a nearby landmark. In the left pane, click the Street View tab and select the image where your house is visible.
Next, click the vertical three dots icon, located in the top-left corner of the image, and select Report a problem. This will show you a page where you can select the area to be blurred. Click and drag on the image to point the red square towards your house (you can also shift it to focus on a car or anything else visible in the photo). Then, under Request blurring, select My home. After that, share your email address, check the captcha box, and click Submit.
Google will review your request and blur your house from the map.
How to hide your house on Apple Maps
Apple Maps has a feature called Look Around that works a lot like Google Street View, giving you 360º photos of various locations across the world. If you find your house in this service and want it removed, you can send an email to [email protected] and describe your problem in detail. Apple will review your request and hide your house from its service — usually within a week.
(If you’re interested in learning more about Apple Maps’ data collection practices, visit this page.)
How to hide your house on Bing Maps
Microsoft’s Bing Maps has a Google Street View-like feature called StreetSide. If you see your home in StreetSide, you can ask Microsoft to remove it there too. The company says it reviews these requests and removes data within 30 to 60 days.
To send such a request, open Bing Maps and navigate to your address. In the left pane, scroll down and click any image with the StreetSide label. This will open a 360º view of the area. To report an issue, click Report a privacy concern with this image in the lower-left corner. This will open a new page where you can select House next to the question “What kind of a concern do you have?”
Click the part of the image that contains your house. You’ll see a red dot on the image labelling this part. Click Submit to report the image to Microsoft.
What about Waze and OpenStreetMap?
Services such as Waze and OpenStreetMap don’t have a street view feature that shows panoramic ground-level photos of various houses or people, so you don’t need to worry (yet) about removing from these services.