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DJI Launches Privacy Mode for Flying Drones Offline


Two months after the US Army ended its use of DJI drones due to “cybersecurity” reasons, DJI has just launched a new privacy mode that allows operators to fly completely offline. DJI says the goal is to provide “enhanced data privacy assurances for sensitive government and enterprise customers.”

The new mode is called “Local Data Mode,” and its development was originally announced back in August. What the mode does is stop all internet traffic to and from the DJI Pilot app.

To turn it on, an operator will click the new “Activate LDM Mode” option inside the app and then enter a password that will be required for deactivating the mode.

“When an operator activates Local Data Mode, the app will stop sending or receiving any data over the internet,” DJI says. “This adds an additional layer of security for operators of flights involving critical infrastructure, governmental projects or other sensitive missions.”

“DJI is committed to protecting the privacy of its customers’ photos, videos and flight logs,” says DJI Policy VP Brendan Schulman.

Once Local Data Mode is activated, the DJI Pilot app will have certain functions disabled — things like detecting your location, showing the map and geofencing info, and firmware update notifications.

Local Data Mode will be available in the next update of the DJI Pilot app from CrystalSky and for certain Android tablets.

Image credits: Header illustration based on photo by Jason Blackeye