Privacy Matters | How to Blur Out Your Home on Apple Maps and Google Maps

Blurred House Maps Credit: Google Maps
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Privacy concerns have emerged as a high priority for today’s tech brands and Apple is certainly no exception. The company has released iCloud Private Relay to help protect internet browsing, limited how much third-party apps can track, and helped AirTag users avoid stalkers, all within the past several months.

But there’s one kind of app that creates a unique privacy problem – map apps. With today’s satellite technology and street-level mapping efforts, anyone can pop open Apple Maps or Google Maps, type in your address, and often find a picture of your house like they were standing right in front of it. That has to make some people uneasy, especially when they start thinking about how it could be used for stalking people or planning a break-in.

But wait! There’s a fix for this that not many people know about. If you are seriously worried that your home or your health is at risk because of the information available on a map app, you can take steps to protect yourself.

This recently received a whole lot of attention thanks to Tim Cook himself, when people noticed that his condo in Apple Maps was completed blocked off by a blurring tool that sent viewers to the Minecraft world. But Cook isn’t the only one who can benefit from a process like this – and we all have the ability to request it.

We’ll show you what to do for both Apple Maps and Google Maps – if you have real concerns, you should go through the process with both apps.

How to Blur Your Home in Apple Maps

Apple Maps uses image blurring technology when capturing street-view data. The tech specifically blurs faces and license plates for privacy. However, it doesn’t always work, and it doesn’t blur details about houses, yards, and similar details. If you want additional privacy, you’ll need to specifically request it.

  1. First, open Apple Maps and navigate to the address you want to protect.
  2. Activate the street-view mode and use the screenshot function of your Apple device to snap a photo of your house.
  3. Swipe up on the “Search Maps” windowpane, and scroll all the way down.
  4. Head down to the Report an Issue option and select it.
  5. You can now choose to Report a Street Issue and attach a photo.
  6. Request that the address is blurred here, and make sure that you enable getting an email response so that you know Apple is following up on your report.

While this is a good first step, you should also email Apple’s map people directly. For this, send a mess to the email address Clearly state that you would like home your blurred. Attach the screenshot you took, and describe your property so it is obvious what details you want hidden.

How to Blur Your Home in Google Maps

Google also has some automatic blurring technology of its own to help hide faces and license plates. But, again, it’s not entirely perfect and doesn’t protect houses. So let’s take a look at what you should do to get your address blurred on Google, too.

  1. First, open up the Google Maps app and navigate to your address.
  2. Enter the street-view mode so you can see the address.
  3. Facing the house, look for the Report a Problem button in the bottom right of the window, and select it.
  4. Google will now give you a handy red filter over the street view that you can adjust. Move it over until it covers your home and the details that you want to hide.
  5. Now look for the Request Blurring menu. Here, you should be able to find an option called My Home. Select it.
  6. Now you just have to enter your email address and submit your request. Google will respond with a notification.

Note that it’s not clear how long Apple or Google will take to process these requests and make changes. It’s a good idea to wait a week or two before trying again. Since these are direct requests, contacting general support won’t help very much in getting an update, so patience is a good bet if it’s been a couple of days.

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