DJI To Add ‘Local Data Mode’ To Keep Flight Data Offline

Fresh on the heals that the US Pentagon has blocked the use of DJI drones by it’s armed forces, DJI Global has responded by say it’s “hard at work on an upcoming Local Data Mode to provide enhanced data privacy assurances.”

The news was released on the DJI Enterprise twitter handle, which is largely aimed at private and public users of an institutional, corporate and government nature.

The US restrictions reveal the risks to national security and intelligence when a foreign entity has access to all of the data recorded by a DJI drone being used by US troops.  Normally flight data is transferred from the DJI Go app to servers in China.  Flight data can include images, video, GPS coordinates and flight paths as well as any audio recorded by the smartphone or tablet.

Obviously the US armed forces do not want to reveal such sensitive information.

Under Local Data Mode, the DJI app will stop sending or receiving any data over the internet, giving users enhanced assurances about the privacy of data generated during their flights.

Ine the press released issued yesterday, DJI says “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.”

Because it blocks all internet data, use of local data mode means DJI apps will not update maps or geofencing information, will not notify pilots of newly-issued flight restrictions or software updates, and may result in other performance limitations.

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