Son asks Google to keep dead dad's memory alive

Emir Hartato's dad in Indonesia (Google StreetView)
Emir Hartato's dad in Indonesia (Google StreetView)

Google StreetView is usually praised for its stringent privacy policy - but one man's trying to get an image unblurred.

Emir Hartato, an Indonesian man studying in Christchurch, has taken to Twitter in an attempt to get a raw StreetView image.

It's because the blurred photo is an image of his now deceased father, who Mr Hartato doesn't have many pictures of.


"I think he didn't like to be photographed," he says.

"Even during family events, he was standing in the back most of the time, [which] made him less visible in the photo."

Mr Hartato had only just arrived in Christchurch in early 2015 when he heard his father had died suddenly.

Far away from home, he says it was a very hard time for him.

But while exploring his old neighbourhood in Bogor, Indonesia, through Google StreetView a few weeks ago, he recognised an image of his father, taken back in 2013.

The only problem was that it was blurred.

"I know my father from his posture and I reckon the clothes that he wears in the picture," Mr Hartato says.

"It's taken next to my home where my father usually hangs around, [getting some] fresh air."

Google StreetView blurs any identifying features, such as people or licence plates, as part of its privacy policy.

It's Mr Hartato's hope that they have a raw image they can share with him.

"I think I have rights to do so because Google took the StreetView image without notice or permission."

He's already tried Google's reporting feature, but found it only works to report inappropriate images - asking for something to be blurred, rather than unblurred.

Twitter was the next try.

"If you look at Google's timeline (specifically on 'Tweets and Replies'), they are quite responsive to their user," Mr Hartato says.

"So I have a high hope that Google would fulfill my request."

Google has been contacted for comment.