Google Street View blurs the face of a cow as Google takes cow privacy seriously


We take animals for granted but I’m happy to report that Google Street View doesn’t. Google’s face-blurring technology that is used in the Google Street View cameras doesn’t discriminate between humans and animals and this was proven recently when one of the Google Street View camera pictures blurred the face of a cow blissfully munching the Cambridge grass. Normally faces of people and nameplates of vehicles are blurred by the Google Street View cameras. Google, it seems, takes cow privacy seriously. The picture soon went viral on the Internet, as such pictures normally do, and people started tweeting about it.

The picture of the cow with its face blurred was taken by the Google Street View camera near the River Cam at Coe Fen in Cambridge.

Initially it was suspected that someone had pulled a prank by manually blurring the face of the cow using one of the easily available image editing tools, but later it was found that the Google Street View camera had actually blurred the face of the cow. According to the official statement from Google, “We thought you were pulling the udder one when we heard the moos, but it’s clear that our automatic face-blurring technology has been a little overzealous.”

“Of course, we don’t begrudge this cow milking its five minutes of fame,” the Google spokesperson added.

Interestingly, the Google Street View camera doesn’t blur the face of the same cow when the image is taken again a little farther away. This might also be because there is no great contrast between the colour of the road and that of the face. But when the cow is grazing on the grass, there is a clear contrast between the colour of the face and the colour of the grass.



About Amrit Hallan
Amrit Hallan is the founder of He writes about technology not because "he loves to write about technology", he actually believes that it makes the world a better place. On Twitter you can follow him at @amrithallan

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