Google disables key Maps feature to prevent Russian military from tracking Ukrainians

GOOGLE has disabled key features of Google Maps to help protect Ukrainians.

Live information about how busy locations in Ukraine or local traffic conditions are will no longer be displayed.

Google Maps lets its traffic overlay show where people are moving


Google Maps lets its traffic overlay show where people are movingCredit: Google / The Sun
Traffic overlay for Ukraine has been turned off globally


Traffic overlay for Ukraine has been turned off globallyCredit: Google / The Sun

This change is global, so no one around the world will be able to see traffic data inside Ukraine.

It makes it harder for anyone trying to track the movements of troops and civilians inside the war-torn country.

Google Maps uses a huge network of smartphones to provide real-time information to users.

For example, pedestrians can help Google locate heavy traffic.

And this can provide information for users to reroute their journey.

Similarly, Google will often detail how busy a facility or road network is.

In the early days of the invasion, The Washington Post disclosure how researchers use this data to track movement.

Congested roads and delays signal the movement of people and potential troop movements.

But some are concerned that Google Maps could be used to Russia’s advantage, providing insights into how busy certain areas are.

Google told Reuters that it consulted with sources, including “regional governments”, before making a decision.

Ukraine resisted the Russian invaders.

The capital, Kyiv, is still holding out despite efforts by Russian heavy forces to break through.

Internet users have been advised not to reveal the movements of the Ukrainian military on social media.

And some tech companies have cracked down on Russia in recent days.

Facebook, Google, and Twitter all have limited advertising in Russia about the Ukraine invasion.

YouTube is currently blocking Russian state media from running ads on the site.

And Google also announced that it will “pause” the Google Ads Service for Russian state media.

Meta, the parent company of Facebook, recently revealed that it had discovered a network of hackers targeting Ukrainians.

And it shut down dozens of fake Facebook accounts created as part of the Russian campaign.

Further technology sanctions could be deployed as part of broader economic sanctions currently targeting Russia.

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