PSA: You Can Remove Your Property From Street View Services
There are popular online street view services that offer detailed pictures of people’s properties. These services can be used for good purposes, but they can also be used by stalkers to:
- Figure out which car you drive
- Find the entrances to your property
- Search for an easy way to break in
- Check if you have security cameras or not
- Look for places to hide around your home
There are several valid reasons besides theft and stalking that one might want to have their property removed from street view services.
While this won’t stop the state from spying on you, ordinary remote stalkers will be thwarted. All you have to do is simply ask popular consumer street view companies to remove or blur out your property.
I can personally attest that this works. Companies will blur out your property and it’s probably in their best interest to do so. It’s better for them to oblige the few people who want their property blurred out rather than risk bad press and legal trouble.
Companies don’t want the public to associate their services with stalkers and thieves, so they give themselves an out by allowing people to remove their property. However it’s not in their best interest to advertize this fact because their service is less useful the more people that request their property to be removed.
And that’s why I’m writing this entry. I just want to make people aware that removing their property from street view services is an option. All these street view services should be opt-in by law. But, unless and until that happens, everybody should be aware that they can opt out.