Live data removed from maps in Ukraine; Crypto helps skirt sanctions

Apple & Google have turned off live data in their maps to protect the people of Ukraine

Live map activity is great to help detect traffic and disruptions when life is normal, but in a war zone it can be dangerous. Both Google & Apple have now disabled these features which collect user data to show clusters of activity. In the US at least, the maps can show busy locations, such as how many people are at a particular gym or bar, but can also show hotspots such as shopping districts, beaches, or protests. There was a fear that people congregating to shelter could inadvertently appear on a map. 

The live traffic feature tipped of academic researchers that the Russian invasion was happening, because there was a traffic jam at 3:15 in the morning right near where satellite images had previously showed the staging of Russian military vehicles. Dr Jeffrey Lewis a Professor at Middlebury Institute in California started tweeting his findings and updates as the traffic jam rolled towards Ukraine.

Cryptocurrency’s ability to transcend borders is in the spotlight

With Russia out of the SWIFT banking system and sanctions on financial activity with Russia, Cryptocurrency is being used to skirt rules.

Hillary Clinton warned last year that she saw crypto as an easy way to bypass government financial controls, but also feared manipulation of the crypto markets by China or Russia.

She called on regulation in the past and has again come out strongly against crypto companies saying that it’s disappointing some are refusing to end transactions with Russia.

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