DJI Eases Security Concerns By Moving Drone Production to California
By Stephanie Reid
Chinese drone industry leader SZ DJI Technology Co Ltd has confirmed plans to build drones at a new production facility in California following security concerns raised by some U.S. lawmakers.
With concerns raised over DJI’s data security practices and the threat of a ban on the use of DJI products by US government agencies, Mario Rebello, the manufacturer’s VP of North American operations, has said “the time is right” for a move that will help the company meet federal requirements. By moving the assembly of the Mavic 2 Enterprise Dual drones to Cerritos, California, the drones will qualify under the U.S. Trade Agreements Act. That designation should make it easier for some U.S. government agencies to buy the drones.
The news comes as DJI launch Government Edition, a secure drone solution designed for sensitive government missions, alongside a comprehensive rebuttal of claims made about DJI in a Senate hearing earlier this month. Lawmakers are concerned of information landing in the wrong hands to which Rebello replied:
“DJI drones do not share flight logs, photos or videos unless the drone pilot deliberately chooses to do so. They do not automatically send flight data to China or anywhere else. They do not automatically transmit photos or videos over the internet. This data stays solely on the drone and on the pilot’s mobile device. DJI cannot share customer data it never receives.”
DJI said in May it gives “customers full and complete control over how their data is collected, stored, and transmitted.”
With this new investment, DJI will ease security concerns, expand its U.S. footprint, create new jobs, and strengthen the U.S. drone economy.