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Challenges and Solutions: DJI's Strong Commitment in the Age of Drone Security

image of a DJI Matrice Industrial Enterprise Drone in flight. The drone should be depicted with precision

In response to concerns raised by the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) about the potential risks of Chinese-manufactured unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), particularly in relation to critical infrastructure and U.S. national security, DJI, a leading drone manufacturer, has issued a comprehensive rebuttal. This rebuttal is aimed at addressing the data access issues and cybersecurity vulnerabilities that are associated with Chinese entities.

DJI's statement focuses on several key points to reaffirm their commitment to data privacy and security:

  1. Origins and Safety Investments: DJI highlighted its role in creating the market for ready-to-fly civilian and commercial drones nearly two decades ago, emphasizing its substantial investment in safety, security protections, and expanded user data privacy controls.

  2. Voluntary Data Sharing: The company stresses that they do not automatically collect flight logs, images, or videos. Instead, customers have the choice to share this data with DJI.

  3. Local Data Mode: DJI offers a 'Local Data Mode' for operators of their consumer and enterprise drones, which allows users to 'fly offline' and ensure that their drone data is not accessible to unauthorized parties.

  4. Independent Security Audits: Since 2017, DJI has been regularly submitting its products for third-party security audits and certifications. These audits are conducted by U.S. and European cybersecurity experts who independently purchase and review DJI products. The findings from these reviews are intended to validate DJI’s data security and privacy protections.

DJI has received certifications for data security, including the DJI Core Crypto Engine’s NIST FIPS 140-2 certification and DJI FlightHub 2’s ISO 27001 certification.

In addressing the specific concerns about Chinese laws that enable government access to data held by Chinese companies, DJI clarified that any disclosure of information would comply with the legal requirements of the national jurisdiction of the requesting government agency. However, they can only disclose data that they have collected, not the data users opt not to share.

DJI has taken a proactive stance, advocating for the establishment of definitive, technology-centered standards governing drone security. This proposed framework of standards is designed to be universally applicable, transcending national boundaries and encompassing all drone manufacturers, irrespective of their geographical origins. By advocating for such a global standard, DJI underscores its commitment to elevating the security benchmarks across the entire drone industry. This initiative aims to foster a collaborative environment where industry-wide adherence is not just encouraged but seen as essential for bolstering the overall integrity of drone and data security.

DJI's comprehensive and transparent response sheds light on its strategies and protocols regarding data privacy and cybersecurity. It reveals the depth of their commitment to not only safeguarding their own products but also contributing positively to the broader discourse on security in the drone sector. This response underscores DJI's recognition of the complexity of the issues at hand and its willingness to engage in constructive, nuanced discussions. These discussions are crucial for addressing the multifaceted security concerns that are increasingly prevalent in the rapidly evolving drone industry.

The emphasis on ongoing dialogue reflects an understanding that security concerns in the drone industry are not static but evolve with technological advancements and changing geopolitical landscapes. By remaining at the forefront of these discussions and actively participating in the development of new standards, DJI positions itself not just as a market leader in drone manufacturing but also as a responsible stakeholder committed to the long-term sustainability and security of the drone industry. This approach demonstrates a forward-thinking attitude, acknowledging that the challenges faced today require collaborative solutions that extend beyond individual corporate interests and address the needs of the global community.

The Drone Advocacy Alliance is stepping up in this crucial time, focusing on the broader implications of legislation that threatens drone usage in America. Proposed laws in Congress and various states aim to restrict the drone market based on manufacturing origin. These measures could severely limit the choices for drone users, potentially grounding drones permanently.

This situation underscores the need for the voices of drone end-users to be heard. The Drone Advocacy Alliance, a non-partisan and drone-agnostic grassroots coalition, is dedicated to ensuring that drone users have a say in policies that could impact their ability to choose and use drones for commercial, recreational, and public safety purposes.

Your Voice Matters:

Join the Drone Advocacy Alliance in advocating for fair drone policies. It's time to tell elected officials to stop restricting the drone market and to recognize the needs and rights of drone users across the nation. Your involvement can make a significant difference in shaping a future where drone technology remains accessible and innovative, supporting various needs from entertainment to public safety.


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