February 4, 2023

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Google Maps – About the time!

Did you know that you can now ask Google to remove your house, license plate, or photos from Google Maps by blurring the image?

Press the three buttons inside Street View and hit Report a Problem. You will then enter a page where you can select what you want removed and write the reason.

Photo: screenshot from Google Maps
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about time

– It is high time that this function was also introduced in this country. Germany and Austria have had this for more than ten years, and today we have the same privacy regulations, Janne Stang Dahl, director of communications at the Norwegian Data Protection Authority, tells DinSide.

She says that from a privacy perspective there can be many good reasons to censor things in Street View.

– In some of the photos, for example, the houses are depicted so clearly that you can easily see them in the living room or other private rooms. It is probably experienced by many as being too personal. She says something she doesn’t want to show the whole world, and adds:

Your presence in a particular place, whether it is outside your home or somewhere else, can say a lot about you and where you are traveling. This is also something that can be monitored for privacy reasons.

Positive: According to Janne Stang Dahl, Director of Communications at the Norwegian Data Protection Authority, this opportunity is positive.  Photo: Ilja Hendel/Norwegian Data Protection Authority

Positive: According to Janne Stang Dahl, Director of Communications at the Norwegian Data Protection Authority, this opportunity is positive. Photo: Ilja Hendel/Norwegian Data Protection Authority
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– Is it wise to impose censorship on car plates, houses, or himself?

– Yes, I would say that, but it is also important to stress that it is up to the individual to decide based on their own situation whether they want to censor or not.

She says personal information about you can be many things, everything from license plates or other things that can be linked to you as a person.

– It’s completely normal to want to remove this. We all need privacy, and we don’t want to share where we are, what we have, or what we’re doing online around the world, says Dahl.

And it is done

To do this, however, there are two criteria that must be met:

  • Your face, home, or other identifying information in the photo
  • The image violates the Google Street View privacy policy

It’s good to know one thing: if you requested it to be removed first and it was granted, you can’t undo it.

– Right, it’s permanent and irreversible, says Sondre Ronander, Head of Communications at Google Norway.

– What happens if you tag someone else’s (neighbor’s) house or such, is there any way Google can recognize that you’re just asking for your house/face?

– If there’s an uncertainty, Google will contact you to make sure it’s correct, says Ronander.

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