DJI will soon let you fly their drones without internet data transfer to protect data privacy

Aug 15, 2017

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

DJI will soon let you fly their drones without internet data transfer to protect data privacy

Aug 15, 2017

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

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Not long after US Army banned DJI drones for “cyber vulnerabilities,” the leading drone manufacturer announced launching the new “local data mode.” It will allow users to fly without transferring data, in order to enhance security and data privacy. Although it’s not officially related to the US Army’s decision, DJI Vice President of Policy and Legal Affairs, Brendan Schulman, says that this feature is aimed at customers who use DJI technology to perform “sensitive operations.”

As Schulman points out, it’s DJI’s goal to protect the privacy of their users’ photos, videos and flight logs. With the new local data mode, this is the way of helping the customers protect the data, no matter if they are public or private organizations.

As sUAS News writes, this mode has certain limitations.  It will not allow DJI apps update maps and geofencing information. The pilots will not receive the latest software updates or be informed of the new flight restrictions, and there could be other performance limitations as well. Also, it may not be available in the areas where an internet connection is required due to local regulations or requirements. On the plus side, and this is its main purpose –  it increases data assurance for sensitive and secret flights.

According to sUAS News, the local data mode has been in development for several months now. Although, the latest case with US Army has probably motivated DJI to announce it publicly. The mode will be available with the upcoming versions of DJI apps, including DJI GO, DJI GO 4, DJI XT Pro, DJI Pilot and Ground Station Pro, and you can expect it within the next few weeks.

Although DJI publicly committed to protecting their customers’ data privacy, if you’re still concerned about your data, the new local data mode might help set your mind at ease. Although, I’m not sure it would be enough for the US Army to do the same.

[via sUAS News]

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Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

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4 responses to “DJI will soon let you fly their drones without internet data transfer to protect data privacy”

  1. Kryn Sporry Avatar
    Kryn Sporry

    Why would you be worried about that unless you’re doing something illegal?

    1. stevethornton Avatar
      stevethornton

      Kryn, It is about the right to privacy and limiting what the government knows.

      ST

  2. Todd Klassy Avatar
    Todd Klassy

    Given China’s support for North Korea perhaps we all should be thinking about buying American-made drones or drones made in other countries.

  3. JP Danko Avatar
    JP Danko

    The DJI Go App is terrible in the first place. It doesn’t connect more than 50% of the time, constantly freezes and crashes mid-flight, constantly wants to update, restricts functionality, is painfully slow, insists that I register with my personal information – and I’m probably missing something but I can’t figure out how to turn off transferring images and video to my mobile during flight. As for internet data transfer – I always put my phone into airplane mode (which seems to screw with the app too) – but even with this option, who knows what it shares with China once it’s turned back on – we all agreed to it sharing whatever it wants in the EULA.