The US is using Chinese drones to enforce coronavirus social distancing rules in 22 states. Could the drones be sending data back to China?
On November 29, 2017, the New York Times wrote a story titled, “Drone Maker D.J.I. May Be Sending Data to China, U.S. Officials Say.” Over two years later, the same company donated drones to 43 agencies in 22 states across the U.S. to help enforce social distancing rules.
At the time, U.S. officials said they had “moderate confidence” that the D.J.I.’s commercial drones and software are “providing U.S. critical infrastructure and law enforcement data to the Chinese government.” It cited what it called a reliable source, who it did not identify, in the drone industry “with first and secondhand access.”
To control the spread of coronavirus, Elizabeth, New Jersey, Mayor Chris Bollwage is implementing social distancing drones to monitor the activities of citizens during this pandemic. However, most Americans know very little about the Chinese drone company D.J.I. So, is this an invasion of privacy?
However, in a tweet, the police department said that only an automated message will be dispersed to help enforce social distancing. No images or other personal information will be collected. During one of the Mayor Chris Bollwage daily COVID-19 Updates, he mentioned the Elizabeth Police Department implementing drones around the City of Elizabeth to help combat people not following social distancing.
“We have been using Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (Drones) since 2018, however, the new models are equipped with voice capabilities. We were able to secure 5 DJI Mavic 2 UAV, on loan through DJI’s Public Safety Disaster Relief Program – thank you to Wayne Baker, the DJI Director of Public Safety Integration.These drones will be around the City with an automated message from the Mayor telling you to STOP gathering, disperse and go home,” Elizabeth Police Department announced on Facebook. “Summonses HAVE AND WILL CONTINUE to be issued to those found in violation. Fines are up to $1000. You have been advised.”
"The drones, donated by DJI, a Chinese company, have gone to 43 agencies in 22 states, all to help enforce social distancing rules."
US using Chinese drones to spy on and lecture Americans about a virus caused by communist China
Oh, and DJI "may be sending data to China" pic.twitter.com/LqH6VzonzH
— Elizabeth Harrington (@LizRNC) April 17, 2020