DJI Counters U.S. Legal Hurdles with Facts and Transparency

Unpacking the Allegations: DJI's Stance on Drone Security and Use

In a detailed response from DJI's ViewPoints Team on March 1, 2024, the leading drone manufacturer addresses the proposed “Countering CCP Drones Act” introduced by a group of U.S. House Representatives. This legislation, aiming to restrict DJI products in the U.S., stirs controversy and concern within the drone community, affecting operators, businesses, and public safety agencies reliant on DJI technologies for their operations.

Key Points at a Glance

DJI's rebuttal sheds light on several allegations, emphasizing the lack of evidence behind claims made against its operations. The company highlights its pioneering role in the commercial and consumer drone segments since 2013 and its commitment to safety, security, and the development of a competitive U.S. drone manufacturing sector. DJI suggests industry-wide security standards as a solution, rather than country-of-origin-based restrictions.

READ MORE: FBI AND CISA WARN CHINESE DRONES ARE THREAT AND COMPROMISE U.S. SECURITY

Addressing the Allegations Head-On

Allegation vs. Fact: Data Collection Concerns

Critics allege that DJI drones collect sensitive data, including high-resolution infrastructure images and biometric data. DJI counters this by clarifying that its drones do not automatically collect flight logs, photos, or videos. Users must explicitly opt-in to share this data. Furthermore, drone pilots have the option to use features such as Local Data Mode to ensure a secure, disconnected drone operation, akin to an air-gapped computer. They can also switch their phones into airplane mode for added data security.

DJI further clarifies that it does not engage in the use of drones for assessing body temperature and heart rate. The company positions this area of exploration as the undertaking of other drone manufacturers, not a part of DJI's own initiatives.

Espionage and Military Use Allegations Disputed

The accusation that DJI could assist governments in espionage is met with a detailed explanation of DJI's adherence to local laws, emphasizing a review process for any data disclosure requests. Furthermore, DJI categorically denies being a “Chinese Military Company” or supporting human rights abuses, asserting its stance against the use of drones in combat and its commitment to peaceful, civilian applications.

In a statement released in 2022, DJI said: 

DJI stands alone as the only drone company to clearly denounce and actively discourage military use of our products, including suspending all business operations in and to try to keep our drones out of the conflict there. There is no reason why DJI has been added to the Defense Department's list of ‘Chinese military companies.'

DJI does not fall under any categories set by the law to be included on the list. DJI is not a military company in , the or anywhere else. DJI has never designed or manufactured military-grade equipment, and has never marketed or sold its products for military use in any country. Instead, we have always developed products to benefit society and save lives.

We stand ready to formally challenge our inclusion on the list.

Looking Ahead: The Industry's Call to Action

DJI views the “Countering CCP Drones Act” as a detriment to the drone community it aims to protect. The company urges the community to voice their perspectives to policymakers, advocating for decisions grounded in facts and real-world drone applications. DJI's call to action underscores the importance of informed legislative processes and the potential negative impacts of the proposed act on the drone ecosystem.

READ MORE: DJI'S FIRM STANCE AGAINST FBI AND CISA SECURITY ALLEGATIONS

A Plea for Fact-Based Legislation

DJI's comprehensive response to the “Countering CCP Drones Act” presents a strong case for the reconsideration of legislation based on unsubstantiated claims. By emphasizing the absence of evidence against DJI drones and advocating for industry standards over xenophobic narratives, DJI champions a balanced, fact-driven approach to drone regulation. The ongoing debate serves as a crucial reminder of the need for clear-eyed, informed decision-making in the rapidly evolving .

For further details on DJI's response to the allegations and the proposed legislation, readers are encouraged to visit Get The Facts: Countering CCP Drones Act, or to visit the Drone Advocacy Alliance website to learn how to make your voice heard.

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Haye Kesteloo
Haye Kesteloo

Haye Kesteloo is the Editor in Chief and Founder of DroneXL.co, where he covers all drone-related news, DJI rumors and writes drone reviews, and EVXL.co, for all news related to electric vehicles. He is also a co-host of the PiXL Drone Show on YouTube and other podcast platforms. Haye can be reached at haye @ dronexl.co or @hayekesteloo.

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