The US Department of Homeland Security warns Chinese-made drones could be transmitting flight data to manufacturers and, in doing so, make it accessible to the Chinese government.
Data security concerns aren't new when it comes to drones built in China: The US Army banned drones made by DJI in 2017, citing concerns about DJI sharing data with the Chinese government. DJI makes 80% of drones used in the US and Canada, reports CNN, citing industry analysis. Law enforcement officials and infrastructure firms in the US have adopted and now rely on drones.
The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency calls the drones "a potential risk to an organization's information," the report states, citing a copy of the alert obtained by CNN. Officials, who don't name drone makers, say drones "contain components that can compromise your data and share your information on a server accessed beyond the company itself."
DJI, which denied allegations in the 2017 report, says the security of its technology has been verified by the US government and denies the information in today's DHS alert, a spokesperson shared with Gizmodo. It says users have full control over how data is collected and shared, and businesses and infrastructure firms can buy drones that don't share data online or with DJI. Still, the DHS advises users to be cautious and turn off a drone's Internet connection before using.
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