DJI has announced a new ‘local data mode’ that it says stops internet traffic to and from its flight control apps to protect users’ privacy.
DJI says its flight control apps routinely communicate via the internet to provide users with the most up-to-date local maps, correct radio frequency and power requirements.
However, with the new local data mode enabled DJI’s apps will stop sending or receiving any data over the internet, ensuring the privacy of data generated during their flights.
The move follows an announcement by the US military that it would stop using DJI drones in its training and operations due to this potential vulnerability to hacking.
“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 says it has been developing its local data mode for ‘several months’, and it will be rolled out in the next several weeks.
DJI’s flight control 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.
DJI says 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.