Just like Google, Microsoft developed its own street-level mapping service called Bing Streetside, allowing users to explore certain locations just like they’d be walking down the street.
In order to comply with privacy regulations, both companies developed automatic technologies that blur people’s faces and license plates to make sure your privacy isn’t breached.
Only that Bing’s system sometimes fails to work properly and such a case was reported in the United Kingdom a few days ago.
that Bing’s street-level mapping service clearly displayed the license plate of a car, while the face of a woman and of her two young children were successfully blurred.
Contacted to comment on the matter, a Microsoft spokesperson said that sometimes the blurring technology doesn’t work as it is supposed to, so such cases may appear every once in a while. What can you do? Simply contact Microsoft and request the manual blurring of the photo.
“It can happen,” the spokesperson was quoted by the aforementioned source. “The blurring is done automatically, but like all automated systems there’s a chance that things will get past.”
Microsoft says on the official Streetside page that a reported photo will be manually checked by an employee who’ll also take the necessary action.
“We accept requests to blur or remove images of faces or persons, homes, cars, acts of violence, nudity and unlawful material. We have individuals that review every request. Depending on the content of the imagery we may remove it entirely, blur a portion of it or take no action if no identifying features remain visible,” the company explains.
As for the time it needs to blur or remove a photo, the information is pretty unclear. Action is taken “promptly,” which means that it could take anywhere from one hour to several days.