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Technology

Google Maps Blurs Out Dogs' Faces For Some Reason

James Felton

James Felton

Senior Staff Writer

clockMar 16 2022, 14:33 UTC
What is this dog hiding?

What is this dog hiding? Image credit Google Maps via Reddit.

Google Maps has for a long time blurred out the faces of humans due to privacy concerns – but, as some have spotted, it appears they also sometimes blur out the faces of dogs, giving the dogs some dog privacy.

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The blurred dog is not the first time an animal has been made to look like they're in witness protection or a minor awaiting trial for murder. 

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There are several possible explanations for why the animals may have been blurred out, including an algorithm believing the faces to be human (who knows, maybe the dog and cow had especially people-like faces, and the algorithm is saving us from that particular horror show) or Google Maps users taking it upon themselves to blur out their animals' faces, for unknown reasons.

"When we create Street View content from 360 video recordings submitted by users, we apply our algorithms to automatically blur faces and license plates," Google explains on their privacy information page

"When users submit non-video content, we do not apply the blurring technology automatically, but users can employ the blurring tool in the Street View app if they want to apply blurring to their own photos. If you find your face, license plate, or home in a user contribution and you wish to have the image removed, use the report a problem feature on the image."

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Users are allowed to request that their house be blurred, should they so choose.

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Either Google's algorithm has blurred out the faces of the animals believing them to be especially hairy humans, or some users take Fido's privacy very seriously indeed. As they should.


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