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article imageU.S. government sees Chinese-made drones as a security threat

By Tim Sandle     May 21, 2019 in Technology
The U.S. government has further extended its warnings about Chinese manufactured technology to issue a warning about drones. Specifically there is a concern about giving spy agencies in Beijing "unfettered access" to stolen data.
The U.S. government, on May 21, 2019, issued a formal warning about Chinese-made drones, indicating that UAV technology could pose a cyber-espionage risk to U.S. businesses and other organisations that purchase the drones and put them to use in U.S. airspace. This follows on from rising tensions between the U.S. and Chinese phone maker Huawei, indicating further concerns with Chinese technology being used within the U.S.
The warning comes via the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, which issued alert suggesting that drones built in China are a "potential risk to an organization's information." This is because the products may contain components that can be used to compromise the user’s data and they also have the technological capability to share their information on a server accessed by the Chinese government.
While the warning does not mention any specific drone manufacturer, one major Chinese drone manufacturer for the U.S. market- DJI - told the BBC it has taken steps to keep its clients' data secure. The company said: "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 all the precautions DHS [Department of Homeland Security] recommends."
DJI, which is based in Shenzhen, has in excess of 70 percent of the U.S. market in drones costing more than $500, according to research firm Skylogic. By 2021 the number of drone shipments from the company, globally, set to quadruple, to 29 million drones exported globally.
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