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Google, Apple temporarily disable traffic data in Israel

Google and Apple say they have turned off certain traffic data in Israel ahead of an anticipated ground invasion of Gaza.
Google, Apple temporarily disable traffic data in Israel
Posted at 2:16 PM, Oct 24, 2023

Google said Tuesday it has temporarily disabled some of its traffic map services in Israel in anticipation of a ground invasion of Gaza.

The change applies to both Google's Maps and Waze apps. It means users in the area won't be able to see live traffic heaviness data, or indicators that show how busy local businesses are.

Apple said it also temporarily disabled traffic data in its mapping services. 9to5Mac reports the company made the change at the request of the Israel Defense Forces.

Google said it turned off the service as a safety measure for local communities. 

Google said it consulted with local authorities in making the decision, but it's not clear if the change was requested by the IDF.

It's also not clear if the disabled regions will extend to Gaza.

SEE MORE: Israel ramps up bombings as Hamas releases 2 more hostages

"As we have done previously in conflict situations and in response to the evolving situation in the region, we have temporarily disabled the ability to see live traffic conditions and busyness information out of consideration for the safety of local communities," a Google Maps spokesperson said in a statement sent to multiple outlets.

Google said people using its navigation services in the region will still receive accurate routes and ETAs.

Google took the same steps in 2022 when Russia first invaded Ukraine, saying it disabled traffic and busyness data for the safety of local communities within Ukraine.

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