Chinese drone manufacturer DJI Innovation Science and Technology Company has officially denied the accusation of illegal intelligence collecting made by a U.S. government office, thepaper.cn reported.
A memo from the Los Angeles office of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Bureau (ICE) alleged that DJI's commercial drones and software are "providing U.S. critical infrastructure and law enforcement data to the Chinese government," according to a report thepaper.cn cited from The New York Times.
The ICE memo said it cited "a reliable source in the drone industry with first and secondhand access." Not identifying the source, the dispatch said customs officials had "moderate confidence" in the claim.
In denying ICE's accusations, DJI said in a statement that the memo was "based on clearly false and misleading claims," and that "ICE should consider withdrawing it, or at least correcting its unsupportable assertions."
A spokesperson for DJI said in a statement to The New York Times that users can control how much access the company has to their data and consumers have total control over whether to upload data to the company's servers.
The spokesperson also said that DJI's app's automatic function to store users' periodical flight logs can be turned off and that it shares data only "pursuant to appropriate legal process."
This economic and trade dispute between China and the United States follows the U.S. Commerce Department launching anti-dumping investigations against Chinese aluminum products using a rarely-used tactic on November 28.