Money may not be able to buy happiness, but it can buy privacy. According to a recent article in the Financial Times, How The Super-Rich Are Making Their Homes Invisible, it may no longer be possible to see how the other half live.
According to the article, there is a growing movement among rich people to hide their homes and property from Google Street View Maps, the public, criminals and other looky-loos. In the past, a lot of celebrities and rich people flaunted their wealth in public, but more and more of these people are trying to keep their wealth and properties hidden in both the real world and digital world.
One of the old-school ways that wealthy people are able to hide their property is by buying homes in private, gated enclaves. One of these exclusive communities, Hidden Hills, is located in Los Angeles, California. There are almost 650 homes in Hidden Hills, and none of them appear on Google Street View Maps.
Although Hidden Hills has a number of famous residents, you won’t find any celebrity tour buses in this ultra-private community. You also won’t find any of Google’s Street View cars and cameras in Hidden Hills. The only thing Google Maps has on Hidden Hills is street names and routes. Even the property management company that oversees the Hidden Hills community has a policy of not speaking publicly or to the press.
There is a growing demand for private communities like Hidden Hills. There are several other enclaves like Hidden Hills in the Los Angeles area alone.
Although gated communities are a good way to keep the public and criminals at bay, they still do not protect wealthy and famous people from the growing government surveillance state and law enforcement.
Another way that people with means can hide their homes and locations is by hiring architects that design homes that include structural features that hide the building from cameras and satellites. Some architects incorporate things like natural camouflage, underground structures and reflective mirrors to conceal homes and locations.
Some people even go so far as to incorporate their own electricity and water supplies to make their home self-sufficient and take their physical location off the grid. It is estimated that there are almost 200,000 homes in the United States that are currently not connected to the main power grid.
In addition to walling themselves off in gated communities and going off the grid, some people also use anti-location technology like GPS blocking devices. These devices interfere with connections between satellites and GPS enabled devices. However, the use of this technology is prohibited by law in some areas.
So much for Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous; it is now Lifestyles of the Rich and Private.