There is controversy brewing in the drone world. The U.S. Army has dropped the use of all UAV products made by Chinese manufacture DJI Technology because of cybersecurity concerns, in a memo released earlier this month.
DJI, whose products are the most widely used commercial, off-the-shelf drones used by the Army, was accused of caching data obtained by the drones and sending them back to DJI’s computer servers over the internet.
The army will cease the use of any system that employs DJI electrical components or software including, flight computers, cameras, radios, batteries, speed controllers, GPS units and handheld control stations.
Phil Larsen, RDF Wireless, whose company only uses American-made drone products, said the drone industry will not be adversely affected by the news.
“Drones aren’t going anywhere,” Larsen said. “The industry will just continue to grow, and now with DJI under scrutiny American companies will get a chance in the arena.”
This week, Reuters reported that DJI is improving the data security of its products in response the U.S. Army ban. A system is being developed that automatically disconnects from the internet during flight. This would protect any flight logs, photos or videos collected by the drones.