International Business Times
June 01, 2015 


When you’re trying to find a restaurant or track down the address of an old friend, Google Maps is an undeniably useful service, but what about for people who don’t want to be found? That’s the situation at domestic violence shelters across the United States that keep their locations confidential to protect victims from their abusers. The last thing they need is a mobile mapping service pinpointing their exact location with street maps and satellite images.


“The single most powerful thing that shelters do is hide people whose lives are in danger,” said Rona Solomon, deputy director for the Center Against Domestic Violence in New York.

Solomon said she suggests that shelters contact their state agencies and regulators if they find their addresses are showing up on Google Maps or elsewhere online. She said she’s also had luck contacting Google directly and requesting that an address be removed, but she admits it sometimes turns into a game of Whac-A-Mole, with addresses reappearing on the service after an update. “We’ll get it removed, but then it pops back up,” she said.

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