Alphabet’s Google confirmed on Sunday that it has temporarily disabled some Google Maps tools for Ukraine that provide live information about traffic conditions and occupancy of various locations.
The company said it has taken action to disable globally Google Map traffic layer and live information about how busy places such as stores and restaurants are in Ukraine to protect local communities in the country, after consulting with sources including regional authorities.
Ukraine is facing attacks from Russian forces who attacked the country on Thursday. As missiles fell on cities in Ukraine, some 400,000 civilians, mainly women and children, have fled to neighboring countries.
Russia called its actions in Ukraine a “special operation”.
Big tech companies, including Google, have said they are taking new measures to protect the safety of users in the region.
Online services and social media sites have also been tapped by researchers to piece together activities around the war.
A professor at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies in California said: Google Map helped them track down the “traffic jam” which was actually Russian movement towards the border just hours before the Russian President Vladimir Putin declared attack.
Google said live traffic information is available for drivers using its turn-by-turn navigation features in the area.
© Thomson Reuters 2022
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