Top drone-maker adds privacy mode to drones

Chinese company DJI – known as one of the best-selling drone makers around the world – is working on adding a privacy mode to its drones, to prevent data being shared on the Internet. The feature, which is to be launched by the end of September, ’will provide an enhanced level of data assurance for security flights, such as those involving critical infrastructure, commercial trade secrets, governmental functions, or other similar options’. Once the privacy mode enabled, certain drone features will be disabled, such as livestream videos to YouTube, the automatic installation of map and geofencing boundary updates, and receiving updates about flight restrictions from authorities. The measure comes in the context of a decision taken by the US army to stop using DJI drones over unspecified ‘cyber-vulnerabilities’.