DJI takes security very seriously and recognizes the importance of data privacy to its customers. The company states that it does not collect or have access to user flight logs, photos or videos unless the user chooses to share. Sharing includes syncing flight logs with DJI servers, uploading photos or videos to DJI’s SkyPixel website, or physically delivering the drone to DJI for service.
With the recent DJI ban from the U.S. Army and reports of data security issues, DJI has announced a new feature for pilots concerned. The feature, Local Data Mode, allows users to enable flight without any internet data transfer, ensuring that enterprise customers and sensitive government operations remain secure.
The company DJI admitted in its latest release that the “flight control apps routinely communicate over the internet to ensure a drone has the most relevant local maps and geofencing data, latest app versions, correct radio frequency and power requirements, and other information that enhances flight safety and functionality”.
Local Data Mode
Simply put, Local Data Mode blocks all internet data. When enabled, DJI apps will no longer update maps or geofencing information, nor will it notify pilots of newly-issued flight restrictions or software updates. While users will experience performance limitations, they will have an enhanced level of data assurance for sensitive flights. This includes flights involving critical infrastructure, commercial trade secrets, governmental functions or other similar operations.
“We are creating local data mode to address the needs of our enterprise customers, including public and private organizations that are using DJI technology to perform sensitive operations around the world,” said Brendan Schulman, DJI Vice President of Policy and Legal Affairs. “DJI is committed to protecting the privacy of its customers’ photos, videos and flight logs. Local data mode will provide added assurances for customers with heightened data security needs.”
DJI has been developing the feature for several months and will be included in future versions of DJI apps. DJI’s apps include DJI GO, DJI GO 4, DJI XT Pro, DJI Pilot and Ground Station Pro, which run on smartphones and tablets that control the drone or connect to the drone’s remote control unit.
The local data mode feature may not be available in locations where an internet connection is required or highly advisable due to local regulations or requirements.
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