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Retaining Control of our Models & Our Privacy - Mike Mas
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Mike Mas
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Hey Guys - Not to be misinterpreted, my thoughts in this post are not aimed to find fault with DJI, but rather a tool for open discussion concerning the important matter of retaining control of our models and protecting our privacy.

In the past year or so, the overall reliability of flying a DJI drone has changed for the worst. With the implementation of new revisions of “bloated” firmware with “No Fly Zones” massive Geo restrictions and logging of our private data, day to day dependability of our models has vanished. Recent imposed updates have resulted in numerous flying errors, erratic control and has even grounded many pilots.  

If you wish to fly a DJI product, you must log in to their servers and agree with DJI’s binding electronic contract. This contract gives them rights to manipulate the flight software in “Our privately owned drones" and further allows them to collect and accumulate our flying data which could disclose; where we live, or even worse, who we might fly for and our clients exact location.

For security reasons, I fly two categories of drones. For more important clients, I use both single and quad rotor equipment with communication on propriety military frequencies. For more conventional work, I was using DJI drones, however for past 2 months, all my DJI equipment (P3P’s & Inspire’s) are grounded with the infamous “No Image Transmission” problem. What’s even more strange about this failure is; three drones developed the same exact problem on the same exact day, which leads me to believe its software generated. After numerous post on the DJI site, this problem has not been addressed or resolved.

There is really nothing complicated about controlling a model from the ground. For the past 40 years, the 53-72 mHz link between the pilot and model worked fine for me for general sport flying and limited LOS aerial applications. In the 80’s, using slow scan amateur frequencies (436 MHz.) for video, I designed the first drone with a 12 foot rotor-span for military use which down-linked two live video signals, one for FPV and a second camera for front line surveillance.  As time progressed, I moved to GPS & Application technology, however within a few years, I was forced to stop using DJI equipment on military contracts since their Go App was collecting private data that could be shared to third parties, which would be a violation of my contracts.

Very few Pro pilots will disclose who they fly for, or share client information, however this data is easily assessable from their device which “may” be shared to others. For myself, I would be in breach of “Need To Know” contracts if I flew DJI equipment since collected data “could” provide pin-point locations of where and when I fly, complete with thumbnail images and google data. Aside from DJI having access to this data, our devices could easily be hacked to disclose this information to other parties.

As most of you already know, it was this same DJI collection of data that caused the Military to issue a “Stop Use” of all DJI equipment since confidential information from the drones could be acquired and shared from DJI in China.   https://www.suasnews.com/2017/08 ... -use-dji-equipment/

In retrospect, all these imposed data problems and NFZ’s are self-inflicted by the barrage of new owners who fail to follow safety guidelines. On the other hand, pilots who fly safe and responsible, are now being treated like criminals with their flying privileges limited or revoked by App’s, as the result of the few idiots who buy drones and have to do a 5 mile range check or fly 5,000-10,000 feet high, take images of stadiums, metropolitan areas, cruise ships, trains or even take pretty pictures of commercial jets in flight.

Where this whole thing went south is when DJI a private company in China, decided to take it upon themselves to police U.S. airways, not for the sole purpose of safety, but to help secure a place in the U.S. to continue to sell their aircraft. While I understand these “business” motivations, DJI does not have a legal right to police the airways in the US, nor instruct us as pilots where we fly, or how we fly. Nor do they have the right to force us to agree to electronic contracts that “demand" we give up control of our models and our rights to privacy.  

If things were not bad enough - recent firmware revisions have all but deteriorated the dependability and safety of our drones. With the massive implementations of NFZ’s, logging of flights and private data, these now “Bloated” App's have reached our personal devices “operating” limitations. Our phones & pads were not designed for this workload which is evident by the App’s garbled operation, loss of video and the devices processor overheating to a point some shut down.  

Recently, some options to downgrade on the support page have vanished to make way for a new crusade which forces users to upgrade to new firmware which offers DJI more control of our drones with less options for pilots to retain control of their model and their privacy. Making matters worse, in the near future we’ll lose our ability to even choose our own device.  Future drones will contain DJI’s own proprietary devices with their own software. These new “Locked Systems” are now surfacing on the Phantom 4 Pro + models. The new Crystal-sky Monitor / App device will be DJI’s answer to their total control of our models.  

In closing - Limiting the capabilities of the drone is not the answer to prevent unsafe flying. The only way to reduce improper use of drones, is for modelers themselves to work together with social media as a team to police our own airways. This combined US agency guidelines and enforcement is our only hope.

While I’ll be the first to congratulate DJI on their amazing technology and sophisticated platforms which has placed them first in the drone industry, they continue to be in last place when it comes to customer relations and service after the sale. Regardless of DJI’s massive revenue, they continue to refuse to spend the funds needed to support their products. For DJI to survive, these problems will have to be addressed. In addition, they will need to re-think their App policies to restore the pilots ability to fly his own machine, and forfeit binding contracts that may jeopardize our privacy.

Best Regards - Mike Mas

www.rotory.com

2017-8-10
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Geebax
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'In closing - Limiting the capabilities of the drone is not the answer to prevent unsafe flying. The only way to reduce improper use of drones, is for modelers themselves to work together with social media as a team to police our own airways. This combined US agency guidelines and enforcement is our only hope.'

And for countries other than the US? There are a lot of them you know.  The problem is that these aircraft are relatively cheap and the only requirement for ownership is the possession of money. And the sad fact is that many idiots have money. No amount of work on social media is going to help the situation because the very people who are causing the problem will do so irregardless.

2017-8-10
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Labroides
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For myself, I would be in breach of “Need To Know” contracts if I flew DJI equipment since collected data “could” provide pin-point locations of where and when I fly, complete with thumbnail images and google data.

There's a lot of unnecessary and uninformed paranoia going around at the moment.
DJI don't know anything of your flying unless you choose to share the details by uploading flight records to them.
And even if you do choose to upload flight records, there's hardly anything of interest.
Does DJI or anyone else care that you flew down at the local park last week, did a few laps and went up to 120 feet?   Or perhaps you were doing a bridge inspection and it would show you flying close to the bridge.  The closest it comes to personal information is if you fly from your backyard, someone viewing the data might deduce that you lived at the house you flew from.

Now compare that with what real personal information you are leaking every time you use your mobile phone, credit card, google, Facebook etc, etc.

And then remember that DJI don't get to see any of that data unless you choose to share it.
Here's DJI's privacy policy:  http://djistatic.com/agreement/dji-go-pp.html
2017-8-10
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blackcrusader
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Myself I am not fussed if I load my flight data up to DJI cloud servers.  I will not be flying near military installations or airports.  In any case if you are worried about where they are location anyone can find them on google earth.  Every base has a known location.  I doubt when I am flying into the sun that DJI will be tracking my drone.  
2017-8-10
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Jenee 2
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I really can't fault DJI in my dealings with them. In the most part, their products work as expected if you treat them properly and follow the guidelines. I think they have done an amazing job with the technology and have allowed thousands of recreational drone pilots to get into the air seemlessly.
I don't give a brass razoo about privacy because I don't do the wrong thing so it does not bother me who knows where or how I fly. I just don't understand the big deal about signing into the app.
What I can't abide are idiots and unfortunately, they are everywhere giving our sport a bad name. They are happy to post their life history on facebook or other social media but complain bitterly about signing into the app.
If you are flying legally and doing the right thing then you have nothing to worry about.
2017-8-10
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Genghis9
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Mike,
Well said, well spoken…
  The problem is too many are too willing to forfeit their freedoms &/or privacy without as much as a by your leave in doing so.  Sure, for a regular Joe hobbyist, there really is no harm no foul.  However, the market is not being focused at just that customer group, they are marketing to professionals too, and that can be a problem for some such as yourself.  The other more insidious element to this that some seem to forget or not realize is technically speaking many, if not all, corporations in China are not publicly run and operated like here in the states.  So, while admittedly there are legitimate arguments for many of these conspiracy theories that exist, within the details of the facts there is some element to the truth that you cannot completely guarantee all data will be kept secure at all times in these products.  Personally, I have no such concerns because I will not be operating in restricted environments or for entities that demand privacy and security of their information.  However, that does not make me any less leery and cautious about my dealings with any businesses based out of China.  I’ve stated it before, DJI is king right now in this product line and I have no desire to own a less than top notch product (present issues aside with FW etc.), especially one that demands reliability.  An aerial vehicle does not have the luxury of just stopping and pulling over to the side of the road when something goes wrong.

2017-8-10
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Labroides
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Genghis9 Posted at 2017-8-10 23:14
Mike,Well said, well spoken…  The problem is too many are too willing to forfeit their freedoms &/or privacy without as much as a by your leave in doing so.  Sure, for a regular Joe hobbyist, there really is no harm no foul.  However, the market is not being focused at just that customer group, they are marketing to professionals too, and that can be a problem for some such as yourself.  The other more insidious element to this that some seem to forget or not realize is technically speaking many, if not all, corporations in China are not publicly run and operated like here in the states.  So, while admittedly there are legitimate arguments for many of these conspiracy theories that exist, within the details of the facts there is some element to the truth that you cannot completely guarantee all data will be kept secure at all times in these products.  Personally, I have no such concerns because I will not be operating in restricted environments or for entities that demand privacy and security of their information.  However, that does not make me any less leery and cautious about my dealings with any businesses based out of China.  I’ve stated it before, DJI is king right now in this product line and I have no desire to own a less than top notch product (present issues aside with FW etc.), especially one that demands reliability.  An aerial vehicle does not have the luxury of just stopping and pulling over to the side of the road when something goes wrong.

Sorry but it wasn't well said at all.
It's ignorant paranoia and nonsense.
Look at the facts rather than listening to those peddling silly conspiracy theories.
DJI only get what data you choose to upload to them.
Really.
2017-8-11
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Geebax
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Genghis9 Posted at 2017-8-10 23:14
Mike,Well said, well spoken…  The problem is too many are too willing to forfeit their freedoms &/or privacy without as much as a by your leave in doing so.  Sure, for a regular Joe hobbyist, there really is no harm no foul.  However, the market is not being focused at just that customer group, they are marketing to professionals too, and that can be a problem for some such as yourself.  The other more insidious element to this that some seem to forget or not realize is technically speaking many, if not all, corporations in China are not publicly run and operated like here in the states.  So, while admittedly there are legitimate arguments for many of these conspiracy theories that exist, within the details of the facts there is some element to the truth that you cannot completely guarantee all data will be kept secure at all times in these products.  Personally, I have no such concerns because I will not be operating in restricted environments or for entities that demand privacy and security of their information.  However, that does not make me any less leery and cautious about my dealings with any businesses based out of China.  I’ve stated it before, DJI is king right now in this product line and I have no desire to own a less than top notch product (present issues aside with FW etc.), especially one that demands reliability.  An aerial vehicle does not have the luxury of just stopping and pulling over to the side of the road when something goes wrong.

'The problem is too many are too willing to forfeit their freedoms &/or privacy without as much as a by your leave in doing so.'

Oddly, these sort of concerns only appear to affect Americans. Why? Because Americans seem to think that they are the only people on earth who have 'Freedom'. Or even that they invented it. Other countries in the world have types of freedom that Americans don't have, and their people are far less concerned about perceived erosions of their rights. To Americans 'Freedom' means the right to do what they please, irrespective of the laws governing them, whereas in other countries, the people accept the role of their government in setting laws that are for the general good of the people. If a government passes bad legislation, then the people will throw them out at the next election and vote in a party who promises to reverse that legislation.

I suspect Mike put this together for US comsumption, but given this is an international forum, he could at least have put in the title that it is for US Readers Only, because I would then have happily ignored it.


2017-8-11
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hallmark007
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This is complete hysteria, one thing here is , this is almost all about one country's distrust of the other and people who are portraying what on the face of it is their siege mentality, in the US you already sold your soul to your own technology companies, collecting data on people  is something your tech companies and government do on a daily basis , I live 3000 miles from the US and they are collecting it on me, so what's the answer here.
Throw away my phone laptop drones close my bank accounts divorce anyone with connections to me and what I do in my life , and go live in a cave, You might be seeing the Hysteria now.
The fact here is I can fly my drones in relative peace, I now know where NFZ are so that's a headache solved for me, if I need to fly them I can follow simple procedures and I have on a couple of occasions.

There was a time our children were allowed to roam freely walk to school and play with all the other kids in the neighbourhood, go to school without fear of being harmed.
We changed all the rules on that now they no longer have the type of freedom their parents enjoyed, WHY, simply because of our need to keep them SAFE and now we wouldn't have it any other way.

The changes we have seen in droneflying of which there are very few are designed to keep everyone safe, it's something we do in all parts of our lives when we perceive a change happening.

So yes the OP is being hysterical, I'm sure the US military are more than happy to know that every hobbyists with a drone isn't flying around their airspace without permission. As for data being collected on the military if this was the case it shows pretty pi*s poor intelligence on there part that they are only realising this now.
2017-8-11
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Cetacean
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Aloha Mike,

     My apologies, but others and myself do not agree with some statements you make.  The problem with that is well articulated by Geebax, Labroides, bc, and Jenee.  The presentation of suspicions as facts is unwarranted.  If you want to repeat an urban myth or a DJI suspicion and have it believed, you have to back it up with something credible.

     If you disagree or find something illegal in the DJI Agreement, take DJI into arbitration like you have already agreed to do.  Then report back to us on the results.  You have been cited what is real by some of the above commenters.   In your response, you need to show you have read the cited material and cite that or other legitimate material to make your point.   

     If you do not show that you know what you are talking about, why should we believe what you are saying.  Repeating what a bunch of people who have not demonstrated that they know what they are saying, does not make what they and you are saying, true.  Logic and truth is not a democratic vote.  

     Facts are true and have been demonstrated.  Please speak the truth logically here on the Forum.  Otherwise, reading one of your posts is a waste of time because the opinion expressed is ill founded.

     Hope this helps!  It is sad that your misunderstanding of what DJI does is creating problems for you.

Aloha and Drone On!
2017-8-11
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Aardvark
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"Very few Pro pilots will disclose who they fly for, or share client information, however this data is easily assessable from their device which “may” be shared to others. For myself, I would be in breach of “Need To Know” contracts if I flew DJI equipment since collected data “could” provide pin-point locations of where and when I fly, complete with thumbnail images and google data. Aside from DJI having access to this data, our devices could easily be hacked to disclose this information to other parties.

As most of you already know, it was this same DJI collection of data that caused the Military to issue a “Stop Use” of all DJI equipment since confidential information from the drones could be acquired and shared from DJI in China.  "


In Europe privacy laws are fairly strict, as can be seen while using the internet, each new website I visit for the first time gives me notification that it uses cookies to gather information on my visit. I either accept/continue or move away from webpage, either of which is seen as me acknowledging and agreeing/disagreeing to this.
Given that it was recently mooted by the President of the USA that all privacy rights be removed from non US citizens then I will have to reconsider about using my Apple, Microsoft, Google, credit card accounts, as they could all lead to a gross invasion of privacy by US government.

On top of this there is a requirement for the service providers to keep record of all sites that are visited over a past rolling 12 month period.
The phone companies keep record of each and every call I make, this allows them to provide me with a fully itemised bill.
Wiki gives a good definition Here.

Google maps has detailed images of my house and garden, but as far as I'm aware they do not break privacy laws, in as much as there is nothing in the image to tie it directly to me as an individual.

My car Sat' Nav' keeps an excellent record of when and where my car has been, but as I choose not to send that to anybody else then it is kept private.

From a 'drone' point of view, the fact that it carries a camera imposes a number of rules regarding privacy, in the case of Sweden last year banning the use of all drones carrying cameras (now being amended I believe).

But the bottom line is that I don't believe DJI as a company, perhaps other than for marketing and sales purposes, would have any interest at all in the data that you would chose to send to them.


2017-8-11
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Dirty Bird
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Labroides Posted at 2017-8-10 18:05
For myself, I would be in breach of “Need To Know” contracts if I flew DJI equipment since collected data “could” provide pin-point locations of where and when I fly, complete with thumbnail images and google data.

There's a lot of unnecessary and uninformed paranoia going around at the moment.

How do you know, with absolute certainty, what the DJI software is doing?  Why am I constantly alerted that my DJI software is consuming system resources & power when it has not been run?   Why do i get occasional pop ups alerting me "DJI Go has stopped" when it was never started?  Note for me this is older DJI software that predates the current NFZ/control craziness.  What is it doing?  What sites is it communicating with & what data is being transmitted?  How do you know?  

Personally I am totally opposed to this insane new world where government & corporations spy on everyone all the time.  As we see, all of this collected data is stored &, in the hands of nefarious people, can be used maliciously.  Even against the President.  DJI may be a private company, but it's a Chinese private company.  That makes it as "private" as the Communist Chinese government decides it can be.  What an incredible tool to have thousands of drones, all around the world, reporting back to China.  Is this really so far-fetched?

Again, how do you know what the DJI software is doing in the background?

2017-8-11
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hallmark007 Posted at 2017-8-11 01:39
This is complete hysteria, one thing here is , this is almost all about one country's distrust of the other and people who are portraying what on the face of it is their siege mentality, in the US you already sold your soul to your own technology companies, collecting data on people  is something your tech companies and government do on a daily basis , I live 3000 miles from the US and they are collecting it on me, so what's the answer here.
Throw away my phone laptop drones close my bank accounts divorce anyone with connections to me and what I do in my life , and go live in a cave, You might be seeing the Hysteria now.
The fact here is I can fly my drones in relative peace, I now know where NFZ are so that's a headache solved for me, if I need to fly them I can follow simple procedures and I have on a couple of occasions.

This is almost humorous.   You reside on a continent which has WILLFULLY placed itself under siege by a group of 7th century savages who OPENLY express their intent to conquer & eradicate Western civilization.  On a near daily basis they act on their agenda.  Just watch the news for today's edition.  France, Germany, Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom.  All under open assault by folks they've invited in.  Some of these countries will cease to exist in their current form within a few decades.

But hey, life's all good right?  Islam is the "Religion of Peace," Allah is your friend, & DJI would never spy on you.  We're just a paranoid lot over here in the States.  Of course when someone is kicking your butt we'll be here for you...

2017-8-11
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Nigel_
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"Where this whole thing went south is when DJI a private company in China, decided to take it upon themselves to police U.S. airways."

I don't think that there is a specific USA version of DJI's software, as far as I am aware the NFZ system is a global system except for some special requirements for oddly shaped NFZs in China.

It is not DJI that specifies the no fly zones in your country, that is under control of your government, if your government wants to give you freedom to fly anywhere, even down the centre of the runway at international airports then they can get all the USA no fly zones removed from the NFZ database, if you have restrictions then it is your government that is restricting your rights.  The database is not a DJI database or under DJI control but one shared by many in the consumer drone industry.

Some of your arguments are about professional or military use of drones, in which case they are irrelevant to consumer drones.  If you choose to use consumer drones for professional uses then you have to accept some limitations.

In my country, the only places the NFZ system is going to stop me from flying are places where I don't want my drone to fly and I don't want to see anyone else flying drones either, unless they have a good reason in which case they can accept responsibility and unlock the zone.

The fact that DJI is headquartered in China is irrelevant, we live in a global economy with every country having different laws but all sign up to the rules/laws of the World Trade Organisation including China, even the USA has signed up to the WTO!
2017-8-11
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Labroides Posted at 2017-8-11 00:07
Sorry but it wasn't well said at all.
It's ignorant paranoia and nonsense.
Look at the facts rather than listening to those peddling silly conspiracy theories.

WoW
...but not surprising and yet sad.

...but I wont call you ignorant or receptive to other's ideas or opinions, the hell I won't!
2017-8-11
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Dirty Bird
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Nigel_ Posted at 2017-8-11 04:35
"Where this whole thing went south is when DJI a private company in China, decided to take it upon themselves to police U.S. airways."

I don't think that there is a specific USA version of DJI's software, as far as I am aware the NFZ system is a global system except for some special requirements for oddly shaped NFZs in China.

Ford & GM dont write traffic laws.  Then again they havent taken it upon themselves to install software that forces drivers to get permission  on where, when, & how fast one can operate a vehicle.  This despite the fact that there are THOUSANDS of vehicular deaths each year.  To my knowledge there have been exactly ZERO deaths as a result of consumer drones...

2017-8-11
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Dirty Bird Posted at 2017-8-11 03:58
How do you know, with absolute certainty, what the DJI software is doing?  Why am I constantly alerted that my DJI software is consuming system resources & power when it has not been run?   Why do i get occasional pop ups alerting me "DJI Go has stopped" when it was never started?  Note for me this is older DJI software that predates the current NFZ/control craziness.  What is it doing?  What sites is it communicating with & what data is being transmitted?  How do you know?  

Personally I am totally opposed to this insane new world where government & corporations spy on everyone all the time.  As we see, all of this collected data is stored &, in the hands of nefarious people, can be used maliciously.  Even against the President.  DJI may be a private company, but it's a Chinese private company.  That makes it as "private" as the Communist Chinese government decides it can be.  What an incredible tool to have thousands of drones, all around the world, reporting back to China.  Is this really so far-fetched?

"Again, how do you know what the DJI software is doing in the background?"

My tablet never has an internet connection while flying so I know it is not communicating with the Chinese government, the USA government or anywhere else!

If I choose to connect it to the internet then nobody knows what might get shared or who with, it runs Android which comes from the USA so maybe my flight logs would get shared with the USA government.  

If you want to keep your flight secret, don't connect yourself to the world via the internet, and don't fly in public where someone might see you with their eyes!
2017-8-11
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Dirty Bird Posted at 2017-8-11 04:43
Ford & GM dont write traffic laws.  Then again they havent taken it upon themselves to install software that forces drivers to get permission  on where, when, & how fast one can operate a vehicle.  This despite the fact that there are THOUSANDS of vehicular deaths each year.  To my knowledge there have been exactly ZERO deaths as a result of consumer drones...

They do however sound a warning when you exceed the speed limit based on a shared database of speed limits!  The only reason they don't make you acknowledge the warning before allowing you to go over it is for safety reasons.
2017-8-11
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Geebax Posted at 2017-8-11 01:27
'The problem is too many are too willing to forfeit their freedoms &/or privacy without as much as a by your leave in doing so.'

Oddly, these sort of concerns only appear to affect Americans. Why? Because Americans seem to think that they are the only people on earth who have 'Freedom'. Or even that they invented it. Other countries in the world have types of freedom that Americans don't have, and their people are far less concerned about perceived erosions of their rights. To Americans 'Freedom' means the right to do what they please, irrespective of the laws governing them, whereas in other countries, the people accept the role of their government in setting laws that are for the general good of the people. If a government passes bad legislation, then the people will throw them out at the next election and vote in a party who promises to reverse that legislation.

  
Amazing!

Yes, I suppose it is uniquely American, and for that, we will not apologize, and clearly, it would seem to be the case.

No, we did not invent the idea, God did, and our forefathers further codified it in these little documents called the Declaration of Independence and the US Constitution, all to break away from a tyrannical government that would not even allow you to choose your own religion.  Now for the last 250 plus years we have been working at capitalizing on the idea and keeping it.  In that time by God’s grace and our allies sacrifice we, the United States, brought, returned, and restored such freedoms back to many nations on this planet at great cost and expense and the only thing we ever took in return was some land to bury our dead.  But then that just feeds in to the whole typical arrogant American theme and idea held by many around the world, I am sorry for that, as I know too many butt hole Americans that further that idea, but I’m proud to be an American.

Last I checked, you could have easily ignored the post and not read further and especially responded to it regardless of the title.  Mike is at least credited with starting an interesting discussion.

2017-8-11
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The paranoia is palpable!  That insane belief that somehow your flight records are so amazingly important and top secret that they could somehow change the course of the world is one of those sorts of beliefs that you may want to talk to a psychologist about.  

Guys...  don't buy the drone?  It's crazy how easy it is to solve your paranoia.  Don't buy the product that no one is forcing you to buy?  Start your own drone company if you don't like the rules?


Also - and this is important - DJI only has information you freely give them.  That's sort of REALLY important.

2017-8-11
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method007
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Dirty Bird Posted at 2017-8-11 04:43
Ford & GM dont write traffic laws.  Then again they havent taken it upon themselves to install software that forces drivers to get permission  on where, when, & how fast one can operate a vehicle.  This despite the fact that there are THOUSANDS of vehicular deaths each year.  To my knowledge there have been exactly ZERO deaths as a result of consumer drones...

That's just a fallacy though, it doesn't actually provide a reason why DJI should not do their best to control their own products and help prevent things like terrorism and accidents.
2017-8-11
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Labroides
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Dirty Bird Posted at 2017-8-11 03:58
How do you know, with absolute certainty, what the DJI software is doing?  Why am I constantly alerted that my DJI software is consuming system resources & power when it has not been run?   Why do i get occasional pop ups alerting me "DJI Go has stopped" when it was never started?  Note for me this is older DJI software that predates the current NFZ/control craziness.  What is it doing?  What sites is it communicating with & what data is being transmitted?  How do you know?  

Personally I am totally opposed to this insane new world where government & corporations spy on everyone all the time.  As we see, all of this collected data is stored &, in the hands of nefarious people, can be used maliciously.  Even against the President.  DJI may be a private company, but it's a Chinese private company.  That makes it as "private" as the Communist Chinese government decides it can be.  What an incredible tool to have thousands of drones, all around the world, reporting back to China.  Is this really so far-fetched?

Sorry sport ... but it is ignorant with a touch of uneducated bigotry added by some.
I've heard many times that the Go app makes connections to various sites but despite all the fear and loathing directed against DJI and the Go app, I still can't find anyone with any proof that the app is giving away your precious personal data.
I see lots of people saying what might happen, what could be possible etc, etc but no-one has dug up any actual proof.
Against that I know what is in DJI flight records and despite all the indignation, there is nothing there that's  worth getting excited about - nothing.
But even if there was, it still doesn't matter because DJI still don't get to see your precious personal data unless you choose to share it.
AS for the idea that evil DJI use thousands of drones for espionage value ... that's beyond ridiculous and anyone suggesting it isn't worth taking seriously.

ANd I don't care what DJI Go is doing in the background.
It can't do much since I fly a wifi only tablet and there's no wifi in the places I fly.
That would have to be the world's worst spy plot to depend on data that people have to choose to upload.
Yes.. it's ignorant and has no factual basis, but I don't expect that to make much difference to some because a kooky conspiracy theory without supporting evidence is just what one market segment wants.

If you want to get out the pitchforks, and make extraordinary claims, you need to back them up with extraordinary evidence anad not just repeated hearsay to be taken seriously.
If you truly value privacy, get excited about tings that matter rather than something that doesn't.
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Ok, I am not a conspiracy peddler... but I have to admit that it would make a good "Homeland" season if the story was about a Chinese company who sold a product that became an international craze, and that product was being used by the Chinese to gather intel...   A flying camera that is used by tens of thousands of people around the world, which connects to 14+ satellites, provides detailed information regarding geographical locations, and even provides low altitude 4k footage of those locations.

A nefarious government entity could build quite a database of information, complete with lovely video.

Then again, at this point it is easier to be on the ground near (or inside) a sensitive location with a cell phone camera which provides much of the same info than it is to be in the same space with a drone.  And lets not forget that satellites now have the ability to read a car license plates inside a military zone, so drones are kind of moot in some ways.   

Still though, would make an interesting story if the Chinese actually were harvesting all of the information we are readily providing them.
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Genghis9 Posted at 2017-8-11 04:38
WoW
...but not surprising and yet sad.
...but I wont call you ignorant or receptive to other's ideas or opinions, the hell I won't!


I agree a little bit with everyone's comments. I realize those in other countries than the US may find it hard to understand what is happing here. I don't have any issues with the NFZ areas or the information sharing myself, but like so many have said, I do think we are all being tainted by some of those folks that don't have any common sense and go flying where you shouldn't or doing stupid stuff and then posting it on social media. But we can't control some of that. It's like the old saying, a few bad apples will spoil the whole bunch! I do understand too that DJI doesn't make the rules here in the US as far as the NFZ zones and such, but would agree that the software they are producing may be collecting more data and putting our devices under such a load, than it really needs too. I like whoever said about leaving the responsibility of flying in the hands of the operator though. Make things a little simpler, but hold those responsible too. Maybe requiring persons to have a knowledge of proper flying procedures might not be a bad thing for some of these models. Just because you can afford it, doesn't mean you are responsible enough to fly it. I don't mean at least here in the US, that everyone should have a Part 107 certificate, but maybe something more like a drivers license if you will. Proving that you have fair knowledge, and can pass a reasonable test, but not costing you a $150. It might make all of us a little more responsible too. These drones anymore aren't just a play toy that can only be flown in your back yard, but being able to go for miles, gives many an opportunity to get into trouble in my opinion. I think DJI has some fantastic technology, and has allowed many of us to explore this hobby for sure. Let's don't get too overboard or paranoid, but also try to educate all people on the right thing to do.

In short, none of us like having a bunch of restrictions put on us. Let those of us who want to fly, go where we want, but take the proper precautions to do so, and make us accountable for what we do.
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Geebax Posted at 2017-8-10 17:32
'In closing - Limiting the capabilities of the drone is not the answer to prevent unsafe flying. The only way to reduce improper use of drones, is for modelers themselves to work together with social media as a team to police our own airways. This combined US agency guidelines and enforcement is our only hope.'

And for countries other than the US? There are a lot of them you know.  The problem is that these aircraft are relatively cheap and the only requirement for ownership is the possession of money. And the sad fact is that many idiots have money. No amount of work on social media is going to help the situation because the very people who are causing the problem will do so irregardless.

"And for countries other than the US? There are a lot of them you know."

Ok guys...  Mikes post wasn't insulting to other countries.  He is just IN America and speaking from his experience.  I don't take offense at people who are posting of location-centric woes in their countries, you shouldn't take offense that Mike posted about woes he is having in the USA.

It isn't any of our fault that these forums are internationally used, and there are definitely circumstances that could cause any of us to complain about regional issues.  

I myself have forgotten a few times that some of my gripes might be regional, but that didn't mean I was being "elitist" about the USA being the only country that I thought mattered.  So maybe we can stick to the topic at hand rather than wasting time being sensitive about someone speaking to problems they are seeing in their country.
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Mabou2 Posted at 2017-8-11 05:24
Ok, I am not a conspiracy peddler... but I have to admit that it would make a good "Homeland" season if the story was about a Chinese company who sold a product that became an international craze, and that product was being used by the Chinese to gather intel...   A flying camera that is used by tens of thousands of people around the world, which connects to 14+ satellites, provides detailed information regarding geographical locations, and even provides low altitude 4k footage of those locations.

A nefarious government entity could build quite a database of information, complete with lovely video.

A nefarious government entity could build quite a database of information, complete with lovely video.

Just look through Dronestagram or Skypixel for 10 mins and see what a valuable source of information is being collected.
And if the app was uploading photos and video files, someone would have noticed the volume of traffic by now - but it isn't happening.
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Labroides Posted at 2017-8-11 05:30
A nefarious government entity could build quite a database of information, complete with lovely video.

Just look through Dronestagram or Skypixel for 10 mins and see what a valuable source of information is being collected.

Heya Labroides,

I agree that it isn't happening.  Just thought it could make an interesting plot for a movie or TV series if it WAS happening.
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Labroides
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Mabou2 Posted at 2017-8-11 05:29
Heya Labroides,

I agree that it isn't happening.  Just thought it could make an interesting plot for a movie or TV series if it WAS happening.

You're correct .... it would.
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RicardoGray Posted at 2017-8-11 05:24
I agree a little bit with everyone's comments. I realize those in other countries than the US may find it hard to understand what is happing here. I don't have any issues with the NFZ areas or the information sharing myself, but like so many have said, I do think we are all being tainted by some of those folks that don't have any common sense and go flying where you shouldn't or doing stupid stuff and then posting it on social media. But we can't control some of that. It's like the old saying, a few bad apples will spoil the whole bunch! I do understand too that DJI doesn't make the rules here in the US as far as the NFZ zones and such, but would agree that the software they are producing may be collecting more data and putting our devices under such a load, than it really needs too. I like whoever said about leaving the responsibility of flying in the hands of the operator though. Make things a little simpler, but hold those responsible too. Maybe requiring persons to have a knowledge of proper flying procedures might not be a bad thing for some of these models. Just because you can afford it, doesn't mean you are responsible enough to fly it. I don't mean at least here in the US, that everyone should have a Part 107 certificate, but maybe something more like a drivers license if you will. Proving that you have fair knowledge, and can pass a reasonable test, but not costing you a $150. It might make all of us a little more responsible too. These drones anymore aren't just a play toy that can only be flown in your back yard, but being able to go for miles, gives many an opportunity to get into trouble in my opinion. I think DJI has some fantastic technology, and has allowed many of us to explore this hobby for sure. Let's don't get too overboard or paranoid, but also try to educate all people on the right thing to do.

In short, none of us like having a bunch of restrictions put on us. Let those of us who want to fly, go where we want, but take the proper precautions to do so, and make us accountable for what we do.


RicardoGray
I could not agree with you more.  It is unfortunate that here in an international setting that there would not be some more open minded thought and perspective about what some are saying and thinking, conspiracies or not, about their hobby and/or profession.  Many seem to want so badly to have everyone sing Kumbaya and embrace a worldwide organization, but as soon as you bring up a differing point of view lines start getting drawn, agree or not with the notion, you’ll never get there approaching it that way…just sayin.
  More to your point about state side responsibility and accountability in operating a modern drone, I agree, I have no issue with restrictions; we have speed limits, construction limits, etc. so there should be no expectation that we should not have flight restrictions on airspace use etc.  I believe you may be correct about licensing for drone operations.  As you correctly point out, these modern devices are far far more capable than the days of a typical RC aircraft that had a range that was well short of your ability to see it and could not fly much higher and further limited by its power and fuel.  As you may have noticed I am not for more government control and interference than what is necessary, this may be necessary.  I would think a licensing process that ensures educating operators on laws, airspace, and liability could prove useful and improve safety.  As long as it is priced under $100 (prefer under $50 but admin costs alone these days makes that hard) and focuses on the issues of safety and responsibility.  Then we all need to hold everyone accountable out there that are hell bent on doing stupid stuff, report them, and ensure the authorities are holding them responsible and accountable.  These vehicles are not really for some 13 year olds to go find new and improved ways for them to find trouble or for the adult that has no idea what it means to use the gray matter between their ears.
  Fly Safe!

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Genghis9 Posted at 2017-8-11 06:07
RicardoGrayI could not agree with you more.  It is unfortunate that here in an international setting that there would not be some more open minded thought and perspective about what some are saying and thinking, conspiracies or not, about their hobby and/or profession.  Many seem to want so badly to have everyone sing Kumbaya and embrace a worldwide organization, but as soon as you bring up a differing point of view lines starting getting drawn, agree or not with the notion, you’ll never get there approaching it that way…just sayin.  More to your point about state side responsibility and accountability in operating a modern drone, I agree, I have no issue with restrictions; we have speed limits, construction limits, etc. so there should be no expectation that we should not have flight restrictions on airspace use etc.  I believe you may be correct about licensing for drone operations.  As you correctly point out, these modern devices are far far more capable than the days of a typical RC aircraft that had a range that was well short of your ability to see it and could not fly much higher and further limited by its power and fuel.  As you may have noticed I am not for more government control and interference than what is necessary, this may be necessary.  I would think a licensing process that ensures educating operators on laws, airspace, and liability could prove useful and improve safety.  As long as it is priced under $100 (prefer under $50 but admin costs alone these days makes that hard) and focuses on the issues of safety and responsibility.  Then we all need to hold everyone accountable out there that are hell bent on doing stupid stuff, report them, and ensure the authorities are holding them responsible and accountable.  These vehicles are not really for some 13 year olds to go find new and improved ways for them to find trouble or for the adult that has no idea what it means to use the gray matter between their ears.  Fly Safe!


You are spot on with my thoughts too Ganghis9! Not to just repeat, but these aircraft now are so much more advanced, that literally anyone can fly them. I can remember probably 30 years ago I got into the RC helicopters a bit. I had several but never had a great deal of success. Those things were so hard to learn to fly. You had to control the yaw, pitch, throttle. tail rotor.....everything. Now you do nothing more than push up on the stick. Hey I think it is great, because I know I spent a ton of money back then learning to try and fly those things, and quite honestly I finally just gave up. Had a lot of fun, but just never got really comfortable with it. Anyway, in as much as the technology allows much easier flight control, which makes this experience so much more enjoyable, I do agree that some user training or certification would be in our best interest. Some will certainly shout out at me for this, but having the ability to travel such distances with these machines should also carry responsibilities. Enough said about that I guess. We don't have much say in what our government poses upon us, or what DJI will do going forward, but hopefully all of our voices will be heard.
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Dirty Bird Posted at 2017-8-11 04:20
This is almost humorous.   You reside on a continent which has WILLFULLY placed itself under siege by a group of 7th century savages who OPENLY express their intent to conquer & eradicate Western civilization.  On a near daily basis they act on their agenda.  Just watch the news for today's edition.  France, Germany, Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom.  All under open assault by folks they've invited in.  Some of these countries will cease to exist in their current form within a few decades.

But hey, life's all good right?  Islam is the "Religion of Peace," Allah is your friend, & DJI would never spy on you.  We're just a paranoid lot over here in the States.  Of course when someone is kicking your butt we'll be here for you...

I'm sure Native Americans, would and still do feel the same way when placed under siege by groups of savages who openly expressed there intent to conquer and eradicate there way of life.
Regarding European countries taking in migrants from war torn countries, well is America not a country which is solely made up of migrants.

As others have said this is just made up mish mash thinking without a modicum of proof , and without proof it's just total BS.
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hallmark007 Posted at 2017-8-11 06:36
I'm sure Native Americans, would and still do feel the same way when placed under siege by groups of savages who openly expressed there intent to conquer and eradicate there way of life.
Regarding European countries taking in migrants from war torn countries, well is America not a country which is solely made up of migrants.

I mean...  when you are bringing up something from hundreds of year ago in the middle of a conversation about drones... clearly he's not trying to add anything to the conversation but troll.  
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"Hey Guys - Not to be misinterpreted"

Now that has got to be the understatement of the year
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RicardoGray Posted at 2017-8-11 05:24
I agree a little bit with everyone's comments. I realize those in other countries than the US may find it hard to understand what is happing here. I don't have any issues with the NFZ areas or the information sharing myself, but like so many have said, I do think we are all being tainted by some of those folks that don't have any common sense and go flying where you shouldn't or doing stupid stuff and then posting it on social media. But we can't control some of that. It's like the old saying, a few bad apples will spoil the whole bunch! I do understand too that DJI doesn't make the rules here in the US as far as the NFZ zones and such, but would agree that the software they are producing may be collecting more data and putting our devices under such a load, than it really needs too. I like whoever said about leaving the responsibility of flying in the hands of the operator though. Make things a little simpler, but hold those responsible too. Maybe requiring persons to have a knowledge of proper flying procedures might not be a bad thing for some of these models. Just because you can afford it, doesn't mean you are responsible enough to fly it. I don't mean at least here in the US, that everyone should have a Part 107 certificate, but maybe something more like a drivers license if you will. Proving that you have fair knowledge, and can pass a reasonable test, but not costing you a $150. It might make all of us a little more responsible too. These drones anymore aren't just a play toy that can only be flown in your back yard, but being able to go for miles, gives many an opportunity to get into trouble in my opinion. I think DJI has some fantastic technology, and has allowed many of us to explore this hobby for sure. Let's don't get too overboard or paranoid, but also try to educate all people on the right thing to do.

In short, none of us like having a bunch of restrictions put on us. Let those of us who want to fly, go where we want, but take the proper precautions to do so, and make us accountable for what we do.

Hi Ricardo, it's great to see and read here someone who has no problem putting common sense before all the other stuff that is being hammered out here.
What you are talking about are the very things we should be discussing here, this is a forum in the main used by hobbyists wanting to learn from each other's experiences best places to fly best ways to fly , to help those who are having difficulties, to try answer questions for newbies.
This is basically a sport for all of us to enjoy no matter where we live on the planet. Yes we all need regulations and the exponential growth of flying drones is what will drive regulation and the need to make this hobby sport business a safer and better place for us all to fly in.
I don't believe drone flying will be curbed by regulation but rather opened up to all those who continue to fly within the boundaries and rules set out by appropriate bodies.
Keep safe and fly safe.

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method007 Posted at 2017-8-11 07:14
I mean...  when you are bringing up something from hundreds of year ago in the middle of a conversation about drones... clearly he's not trying to add anything to the conversation but troll.

It wouldn't be the first time I experienced that.
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method007 Posted at 2017-8-11 07:14
I mean...  when you are bringing up something from hundreds of year ago in the middle of a conversation about drones... clearly he's not trying to add anything to the conversation but troll.

Somebody in #19 brought up God and the "forefathers" ... Or did you miss that comment?
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Antonio76 Posted at 2017-8-11 07:44
Somebody in #19 brought up God and the "forefathers" ... Or did you miss that comment?


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Dirty Bird Posted at 2017-8-11 03:58
How do you know, with absolute certainty, what the DJI software is doing?  Why am I constantly alerted that my DJI software is consuming system resources & power when it has not been run?   Why do i get occasional pop ups alerting me "DJI Go has stopped" when it was never started?  Note for me this is older DJI software that predates the current NFZ/control craziness.  What is it doing?  What sites is it communicating with & what data is being transmitted?  How do you know?  

Personally I am totally opposed to this insane new world where government & corporations spy on everyone all the time.  As we see, all of this collected data is stored &, in the hands of nefarious people, can be used maliciously.  Even against the President.  DJI may be a private company, but it's a Chinese private company.  That makes it as "private" as the Communist Chinese government decides it can be.  What an incredible tool to have thousands of drones, all around the world, reporting back to China.  Is this really so far-fetched?

'Why am I constantly alerted that my DJI software is consuming system resources & power when it has not been run?'

The answer is technical, but quite simple. As explained very well in another thread, the software that runs on your phone or tablet is vastly more complex than a simple Facebook app. And one form of application is called a 'service'. It starts when the device is switched on, and is there to perform continuous operations related to the Go App. If it fails for any reason, it notifies you. And while it is always running, as are other services from Google and the phone's maker, it can notify you at any time, even when the Go App is not running.
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Mabou2 Posted at 2017-8-11 05:24
Ok, I am not a conspiracy peddler... but I have to admit that it would make a good "Homeland" season if the story was about a Chinese company who sold a product that became an international craze, and that product was being used by the Chinese to gather intel...   A flying camera that is used by tens of thousands of people around the world, which connects to 14+ satellites, provides detailed information regarding geographical locations, and even provides low altitude 4k footage of those locations.

A nefarious government entity could build quite a database of information, complete with lovely video.

'A flying camera that is used by tens of thousands of people around the world, which connects to 14+ satellites, provides detailed information regarding geographical locations, and even provides low altitude 4k footage of those locations.'

You do know that those 14+ satellites are GPS satellites? And that the conversation is strictly one way, that is your drone cannot send inforation back to them, don't you? And also that it is not possible to send 4K pictures anywhere if you do not have a WiFi or cellular connection? I hope so.
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Mabou2 Posted at 2017-8-11 05:30
"And for countries other than the US? There are a lot of them you know."

Ok guys...  Mikes post wasn't insulting to other countries.  He is just IN America and speaking from his experience.  I don't take offense at people who are posting of location-centric woes in their countries, you shouldn't take offense that Mike posted about woes he is having in the USA.

I said earlier:

I suspect Mike put this together for US comsumption, but given this is an international forum, he could at least have put in the title that it is for US Readers Only, because I would then have happily ignored it.

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