Google announced Tuesday that it has suspended live updates of traffic information in Israel, in a measure taken at the request of the Israeli army.
In addition, Apple also announced that it has responded to this request and has disabled live traffic updates in its Maps app.
This change directly affected Google and Apple navigation and maps service.
Responding to this measure, a Google representative said, “We’ve also done this previously in conflict situations and in response to developments in the region, where we temporarily suspended the ability to view real-time traffic data and congestion information, for the safety of local communities”.
He added, “However, individuals using the app can access information about expected routes and estimated arrival areas that take into account current traffic conditions”.
Google had implemented a similar measure in 2022 during the Russian-Ukrainian conflict, where it suspended live traffic updates in Ukraine due to the use of applications to track military activities.
These changes to mapping services come ahead of a potential ground invasion by Israel against the Gaza Strip, a scenario that could theoretically affect traffic.
Google collects real-time traffic information across smartphones that use its app.
This information relies on location tracking to measure the number of cars and their speed on specific roads.
Individuals using the app can get updates on how congested traffic is in specific areas.
Google also noted that the apps won’t display real-time traffic, but drivers will still be able to access latency estimates based on current conditions and use navigation systems to help navigate.