You may be one of the many people who’ve seen Google’s Street View cars roaming around the neighborhood, constantly taking photos for Google Maps. You may have also seen Trekker, Google’s backpack-sized Street View camera system exploring the Grand Canyon.
There were times when the cars would wait until a person is no longer visible before photos are taken, but that makes the task at hand a longer one, so these Google-commissioned cameras just keep shooting, whether people are present or not. Google blurs out people’s faces, license plates and other personal information, but not everything gets filtered and censored.
So what do you do when you see your face or your car’s license plate in plain sight on a Google Street View map?
Privacy is the top priority
As stated earlier, Google blurs out faces and license plates, but sometimes things go unnoticed. If Google misses anything, it encourages people to report problems such as unblurred faces and license plates. This goes for those of you that want your car or house to be opted out of Street View altogether.
Google knows that not everyone is comfortable with sharing with the world what their house looks like, or where exactly their house is located, either for security reasons or they just don’t want people nosing around.
And of course, there are things on Street View that aren’t appropriate for public viewing, such as people in compromising positions and situations.
Fortunately Google has made it easy to report problems on Street View in just a few steps.
1. Go to Google Maps
2. Activate Street View by placing the yellow man on the map where the photo to be reported is seen.
3. When the photo to be reported has been identified, look for the “Report a problem” button at the bottom of the photo.
4. A new window will pop up to help you identify the exact problem to be reported such as Places/Business, Address/Marker, Road/Street, Directions/Transit, Other problems such as satellite imagery, inappropriate content.
5. You can also specify your concerns by typing it.
6. After completing the report, just click on the continue button and Google will get back to you as soon as possible.
There’s also another way to improve Google Maps by using Google Map Maker to add your own input to a particular map. Users can add a new place, edit a place, add roads, and even see edits of other users to check if what you want to add has already been added or check if what has been added is correct.