12 May 2021

Police not concerned data collected by drones could go to Chinese government

From Morning Report, 6:10 am on 12 May 2021

Police say they are not overly concerned that data collected by its drones could end up in the the hands of the Chinese government.

Reports recommend the police triple their fleet of drones, manufactured by Chinese company DJI, saying the cyber security risks are outweighed by the benefits.

A six-month trial last year found drones kept officers safer at crime scenes, and save time and money when finding missing trampers and surveying road crashes.

But the reports also say there is a risk the data could be illegally accessed.

Dr Andrew Shelley first warned police of the cyber risks in August 2019, and wrote risk assessments for them.

He says it remains the case that DJI drones by default send data to servers hosted by Chinese web giant Alibaba.