Obscure video license plates

What is the purpose to often gray out the vehicle license plate in You Tube and Google videos? This practice seems to be done even on vehicles that have no relevance to the video, just caught on camera so to say.

Privacy protection.

For the same reason they gray out the license plates of the vehicles that do have relevance to the video. Just basic privacy protection (and possibly self-protection against the uppity and litigious).

It’s not just Youtube. Professional TV shows do the same thing.

Even more mystifying, why do they blur out some words on highway direction signs in some remote parts of the world?

To mask what could be identifying information to the precise location where something is happening.

Does somebody somewhere have to manually blur out every license number on every car in every camera shot? Or determine every place where “something might be happening” and blur out the name of that place on every sign?

Google Street View uses software to automatically detect and blur license plates and faces. Occasionally it gets a bit overenthusiastic and blurs something else.

I find it hard to believe that it would be necessary. They can’t get close enough for any detail, can they?

Google Street View? Sure.

See for yourself. Use the + button near the bottom right to zoom.

Or just use the scroll on your mouse.