US grows wary of Chinese drone threat


The US government has warned some of its multinationals that these Chinese drones they use for their operation may serve as a cyber-espionage risk to American businesses and other organizations. This notice further goes to inform companies which deal with issues national security that they are at a higher form of risk. The warning issued by the US government has not been specific about any particular company.

Top drone manufacturer, DJI, has taken steps to improve the security of their client's information. DJI is responsible for 70% of the entire US market drones. DJI has upgraded its security measures and released a statement saying,
"We give customers full and complete control over how their data is collected, stored, and transmitted."
"For government and critical infrastructure customers that require additional assurances, we provide drones that do not transfer data to DJI or via the internet, and our customers can enable the precautions DHS [Department of Homeland Security] recommends."

Yuneec, second largest drone manufacturer in US market has claimed to provide its users full control over information control in its latest statement.

"All our UAV [unmanned aerial vehicles] do not share telemetry or visual data with internal or external parties," said Chris Huhn, the firm's vice president of business development.
"Regardless of who you are - public authority, company or private individual - the drone data of your Yuneec drone always remains yours."

The notice on this security risk was released on Monday, 20 May 2019. However, this isn't the first time America has grown wary of Chinese drones. In August 2017, the US Army was prohibited from the use of DJI drones during their operations due to unspecified cyber-security concerns.

The timing of this warning is also coincidental with the restrictions imposed on Huawei, another Chinese tech giant. It has been reported that Beijing could compel these companies to provide vital information about the US government. An official ban of these drones could be underway but it would disrupt a lot of operations that rely on drones.

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