Google's headquarters in Silicon Valley
Google's headquarters in Silicon ValleyiStock

Google’s parent company Alphabet has announced it is temporarily disabling the Google Maps live traffic features on its maps of Ukraine, according to Vice.

Google said that the decision was made on Sunday after speaking with Ukrainian government officials.

The maps, which are mainly used by civilian drivers to to navigate on roads, can also be repurposed by experts for military purposes.

Recently, open source intelligence expert and nuclear nonproliferation Professor Jerry Lewis, of Middlebury College, used Google Maps to find the beginning signs of Russia’s invasion of the country using traffic jam data on the Ukrainian border.

Lewis told Motherboard that the data he used to watch the invasion taking place could have been used to target civilians.

“I think big data companies often don’t want to face squarely how useful their data can be,” Lewis said. “I mean, it’s cool when we do it, right? It’s maybe less cool if the Russians were able to do something similar to, you know, spotting an offensive from Ukrainians.”

In response to concerns, Google has turned off Map service in Ukraine while the war is ongoing.