DJI Expands Data Privacy For Govt., Commercial Drones

Photo: DJI

DJI will make Local Data Mode, an easy-to-use and effective data privacy feature that eliminates internet connectivity and prevents the transmission of all drone data over the internet, available in the DJI GO4 and DJI Fly flight control apps within the coming months. The feature has been available for DJI drones through the DJI Pilot app since 2017. Expanding availability of this feature follows an independent review and validation of Local Data Mode and DJI’s drone products by FTI Consulting (FTI).

The expansion brings Local Data Mode to operators of all recent DJI drones, allowing commercial and government customers, including public safety agencies and other federal, state, and local government users, to choose the best DJI drone for each mission. All DJI drones provide data security protections for their users by empowering them to decide whether and when their drone data is shared externally. Local Data Mode provides government and commercial customers with additional assurance that data generated during drone operations is effectively protected. It is an internet connection “kill switch” feature within DJI’s command and control mobile applications that, when enabled, prevents the app from sending or receiving any data over the internet. With this feature enabled, drone operators can easily and effectively cut off all network connections from DJI’s mobile applications and prevent any data from being transferred to DJI or other parties.

Additional Protections For Commercial And Government Customers

For commercial and government customers who want advanced drone fleet management capabilities offered by DJI FlightHub software, FTI’s analysis also found no evidence of data being requested or transmitted externally with the combination of FlightHub Enterprise and the DJI Pilot PE application. FlightHub Enterprise is a version of FlightHub installed and hosted on a customer’s local IT infrastructure, and the DJI Pilot PE application is a custom version of DJI Pilot for use with FlightHub Enterprise.

DJI also continues to offer its Government Edition solution created specifically for use in high-security situations by government agencies. The solution involves custom device firmware and operational software in a unique architecture that supports high data security requirements, including Local Data Mode permanently enabled, to ensure drone data can never be shared with unauthorized parties including DJI. While not part of the scope of FTI’s analysis, DJI’s Government Edition solution has been independently reviewed by U.S. cybersecurity firm Booz Allen Hamilton, U.S. Department of Interior, and U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

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