Hobbyists, governments, and enterprise drone operators can now be assured that their usage is fully private as DJI has launched a new feature for its Pilot app that restricts outflow or inflow of any data by restricting data usage. The new Local Data Mode stops internet traffic on the app, assuring data of sensitive flights is secured from prying eyes.
The Local Data Mode, once enabled, stops the sending or receiving of data over the internet. The caveat here is that by disabling data exchange, the app will not be able to detect user’s location, show the map and geo-fencing information including No Fly Zones and temporary flight restrictions. It further also stop notifying the drone operator of firmware updates. So for example, if you need to check for updates or make one, you’ll have to first disable the Local Data Mode and then do so, before enabling the mode again.
It is to be noted that even if you deactivate the Local Data Mode, data on flight logs such as altitude, distance or speed will remain stored on the aircraft. Irrespective of the mode, all the photos and videos captured by the drone will continue to be stored on the drone’s SD card, and it can be shared only if you choose to online. ALSO READ: Meet Zero Zero’s Hover Camera, a selfie drone that follows you
Now, the caveat here is that because the app is not connected to the internet, drone operators will be responsible for the safety of their flight operation. The company has reiterated that operators must take into account that features which may enhance and support the safety of their operations which rely on internet connectivity will no longer be available if the mode is activated.
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The purpose behind the feature is to essentially provide enhanced data privacy assurances for sensitive government and enterprise customers. In order to enable the Local Data Mode, you can click on ‘Activate LDM Mode’ in the DJI Pilot app and enter a password for re-enabling after deactivation. New drones will need to be activated first with your DJI account, with an email and password. It is worth mentioning that the feature won’t be available in regions or locations where internet connection is required due to local regulations.