When you’re using Google Maps’ Street View you may have noticed that some properties are blurred out completely, making it impossible to make any details.
While it’s common practice with faces and licence plates, Google doesn’t routinely blur out buildings, even residential ones - on its Street View, but it might be something you want to request.
Allowing anyone with internet access to take a close-up look at your home isn’t without its potential problems - privacy issues can arise if it’s possible to see through windows into your home, it can also reveal where packages and parcels are left by delivery drivers, leaving you open to having your belongings nicked.
It can allow criminals to scope out any access or entry points at your property, as well as check for cameras or other security measures - helping potential burglars make a plan before breaking into your home.
Fortunately, for the privacy conscious among us, it’s relatively simple to get Google to blur your home.
You’ll need to go onto Google Maps on your computer - as the blurring request isn’t available through its iOS and Android browser - and enter your home address.
When you’ve found your home on Street View, click the ‘report a problem’ button in the bottom right-hand side. Here, you’ll need to make sure your home - and any of its features - is fully contained inside the red box.
Under ‘Why are you reporting this image’ use the ‘Request blurring’ tool and select ‘My home’.
You’ll be asked to provide a reason why, so give privacy reasons here and also enter your email address. Once that’s all done, you can hit submit.
It’s important to note that this is a permanent change, so if, for whatever reason, you think you might benefit from your unblurred home being on Street View, then don’t request it be blurred.
On its page, Google explains: “Google takes a number of steps to protect the privacy of individuals when Street View imagery is published to Google Maps.
"We have developed cutting-edge face and licence plate blurring technology that is designed to blur identifiable faces and licence plates within Google-contributed imagery in Street View.
"If you see that your face or licence plate requires additional blurring, or if you would like us to blur your entire house, car or body, submit a request using the 'Report a problem' tool.”