Economy

DJI to Assemble Drones in California Amid Security Concerns

DJI to Assemble Drones in California Amid Security Concerns”

Now, the company is trying to get on American officials' good side by building a new product in the United States, the New York Times reported.

DJI said it will assemble its Mavic 2 Enterprise Dual drones in Cerritos, California, after the U.S. Customs and Border Protection determines that the U.S. produced value of its drones will qualify under the U.S. Trade Agreements Act.

The plant, DJI's first overseas drone assembly line, has completed trial production and is awaiting US regulatory approval, the company said Monday.

"Because the drone industry is becoming an increasingly critical engine for small American businesses as well as the entire US economy, it is essential that decisions affecting key components of the industry are based on fact".

The letter, signed by DJI Vice President Mario Rebello, regional manager for North America, came in response to what it called "incorrect claims" that were made during a hearing last week - which it said could "put the entire U.S. drone industry at risk". "They are not our friend".

During the hearing, Harry Wingo of National Defense University was particularly critical of DJI.

However, the company is in the crosshairs of the United States government recently. He suggested the issue "presents a national risk, similar to that highlighted by President Trump in calling out the risk of using 5G equipment from Huawei in USA telecommunications networks".

DJI said in its open letter that it has developed security measures, such as embedding password and data encryption in its products, and if American users choose to share their data, it will only upload to U.S. cloud servers. On June 13, three House Republicans wrote DHS seeking more information about that alert.

The company's drones are used by many USA government agencies, including the New York Police Department. While DJI customers have always had full control over how the data they generate with drones is collected, stored and transmitted, Government Edition ensures that drone data (including photos and videos captured during flight) never leaves the drone and therefore can never be shared with unauthorized parties including DJI.

Further adaptions to the Mavic 2 Enterprise Dual also mean that data it collects will only be kept locally on the drone, and can not be accessed until it has landed, meaning there is not ability to wireless transmit information online. Those drones "cannot access the internet and only stores information on the device". "DJI can not share customer data it never receives". Police in Fremont, California in February used a DJI drone to find an emotionally troubled deaf boy, and last week game wardens in Coleman County, Texas used a DJI drone to find two kayakers missing along a rural river after dark.

The company sent a letter on June 24 to the leadership of the Transportation Subcommittee of the Senate Commerce Committee in the aftermath of a hearing on potential security risks arising from China's increasing dominance in low-priced unmanned aerial vehicles.

USA drone makers, he said, have been working with the Federal Aviation Administration to create more flexible rules for extended drone operations. Last month, the Senate Armed Services Committee agreed to a provision banning future purchases of Chinese-made drones by the Pentagon.



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