ESTEEM Center for Equity in Science, Technology, Engineering, English & Math



Google Has Blocked The Use Of Maps And Navigation Apps In Israel And The Gaza Strip.

Google has imposed a temporary ban on the use of maps and navigation services in the territories of Israel and the Gaza Strip

Google has temporarily suspended Maps and Waze in Israel and the Gaza Strip in response to a request from the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) to disable certain features, including real-time crowd sourcing data.

More than a billion people use Maps every day, giving it real-time information that Google uses to keep an eye on traffic and road conditions.

Insider reported that this development comes in the context of the expectation of a ground incursion by Israeli forces into the Gaza Strip, and that real-time data on the applications may reveal the current location of Israeli forces. It is speculated that they may be concerned that driver information, traffic congestion data, and other information may indicate the presence of forces in the field, or even indicate potential targets for attack.

Google similarly restricted the use of Maps during the Russian military incursion into Ukraine in order to ensure the security of local Ukrainian populations.

Google said in a statement to Insider that “as we have done in conflict situations in the past, and in light of the changing circumstances in the area, we are temporarily disabling the ability to view live traffic conditions, as well as busyness information, out of concern for local communities.” “Customers navigating to a particular destination will continue to receive routes and ETA that reflect current traffic conditions.”

Last year, Professor Jeffrey Lewis of Middlebury Institute observed the Russian incursion into Ukraine by utilizing the traffic layer on Google Maps. Lewis observed that the app was displaying the traffic data of Android users who were unable to access the roads due to the Russian military incursion, Vice reported. Additionally, Lewis and his colleagues utilized satellite imagery taken a few days prior to compare the movement on the ground, Vice reported.

Waze is a Google-owned app that provides real-time traffic data and road structures that can be used to help other app users get through traffic jams. You can use Waze to share traffic, accident reports, police traps, road blocks, weather conditions, etc.




More to Discover