DJi said today it had launched its new Local Data Mode (or LDM Mode for short), a feature that cuts off its DJI Pilot application from the internet, in response to concerns by government and business users about whether sensitive data may be vulnerable from a net-connected drone flight.
The next update of DJI Pilot for DJI’s CrystalSky monitor and “select” Android tablets will include the optional LDM Mode, the company said. With the password-protected mode selected, the app will lose the ability to detect the users location, show map and geofencing information, or receive firmware updates. Telemetry data will still be stored on the aircraft itself, the company said.
“We are creating Local Data Mode to address the needs of our enterprise customers, including public and private organizations that are using DJI technology to perform sensitive operations around the world,” said DJI VP of Policy and Legal Affairs Brendan Schulman in a prepared statement. “DJI is committed to protecting the privacy of its customers’ photos, videos and flight logs. Local Data Mode will provide added assurances for customers with heightened data security needs.”
The company stressed that, even without Local Data Mode turned on, photos and videos from the drone are recorded to SD card and are never shared without permission. DJI said LDM Mode may not be available for flights in areas where internet connectivity “is required or highly advisable due to local regulations.”