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Ukraine’s live traffic data on Google Maps is temporarily disabled

On Sunday, Google, the search giant owned by Alphabet Inc, confirmed that it has temporarily disabled for Ukraine some of its tools which provide live information about traffic conditions and how crowded places are. According to the company, it disabled globally the Google Maps traffic layer and live information on how busy stores and restaurants are in Ukraine for the safety of local communities in the country, after consulting with sources including regional authorities.

The Ukrainian army is facing attack from Russian forces after the invasion began on Thursday. In the aftermath of the missile attacks on Ukrainian cities, more than 400,000 civilians, mostly women and children, fled into neighboring countries. Russia refers to its actions in Ukraine as a ‘special operation’. Several big tech companies have announced plans to strengthen security measures in the region, including Google.

Researchers were also able to piece together activity around the war by tapping into online services and social media sites. An international studies professor at California’s Middlebury Institute of International Studies used Google Maps to track a ‘traffic jam’ that was actually Russian movement toward the border hours before Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the attack. Users of the Google Maps turn-by-turn navigation feature in the affected area continue to be able to see live traffic information.


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