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Parrot's founder Henri Seydoux digs into DJI's data security issues

Parrot CEO Henri Seydoux falsely accuses DJI during ANAFI USA presentation

During the presentation of the ANAFI USA, Parrot’s founder and CEO, Henri Seydoux falsely accuses DJI of silently removing some software from the DJI Go app that would feed into a Chinese data intelligence platform. Not only is this a cheap shot, but he got his facts wrong according to DJI. See below for all the details and the response from DJI.

Parrot’s founder Henri Seydoux falsely accuses DJI

It already started during the initial teasers Parrot sent out in advance of today’s ANAFI USA launch when the company released these announcements questioning whether you should trust Chinese-made DJI drones.

During the presentation, Henri Seydoux incorrectly accused DJI of ‘silently’ removing software parts from the DJI GO app (V4.3.26) a ‘major data leak into MobTech’, which according to Parrot is ‘a Chinese data intelligence platform’.

Keep in mind that the DJI GO 4 app is the app that is used for a number of DJI drones.

Here’s is the slide used in Parrot’s presentation.

DJI’s response

After Parrot’s presentation, I reached out to DJI for a response

DJI just told me that what Henri Seydoux was referring to is actually the DJI Mimo app that is used for the DJI Osmo Pocket and other Osmo camera. The MobTech app is a third party software application that allows the user to quickly share images and video clips to social media networks.

Here’s DJI’s official response

DJI takes the security of our products and the protection of customer data very seriously. We have reviewed River Loop’s public analysis of the DJI Mimo app, which consumers use to control our Osmo handheld camera products optimized for social media sharing. We found this report to be inaccurate, outdated, and sensationalized as it offered no proof that any vulnerabilities or bad data practices exist. Our internal Product Security team is confident in its security profile, especially given its intended use to enable the recording and sharing of consumer video on social media. We recognize that product and data security are evolving practices as new vulnerabilities are discovered by the research community and we welcome the responsible disclosure of valid security concerns through our Bug Bounty program at https://security.dji.com.

I’m not sure why Parrot continues to take cheap shots at DJI in this way. If the Parrot ANAFI USA is such a great drone than let it stand on its own legs. There should be no need to accuse DJI in order to promote and sell your new ANAFI USA.

The Parrot USA contains Chinese-made parts as well

Also keep in mind that even though the ANAFI USA is designed in France, assembled in the USA, it still contains Chinese-made parts as well.

I asked Henri Seydoux during the presentation about any Chinese components and this is what he said.

The strategic content is, is American, and maybe some European. So what is the strategy content? The strategy content is the CPU. The strategy content is the sensors. And the most strategic content is the software. So all this content is American, or European, or Japanese for the (camera) sensors. And are some non-strategy contents, some plastic parts, some metallic parts that come from China.

This sounds great, but it still leaves out the motors, IMU, boards, other chips sets, etc. Might those be Chinese-made? I’ll let you decide.

Here are the relevant slides in sequence as they were used during Parrot’s presentation.

Parrot's founder Henri Seydoux digs into DJI's data security issues

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2 comments

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  • Although talking trash about your competitor happens way too much, I would not just believe DJI just because they said so. Their reputation is cut throat and I really have concerns about how DJI shares or leaks data. The problem is in most cases we will never know. And that’s just the way DJI wants it. But they sure do make great products.

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