Tips on how to use DJI services

What do you want advice about?: How to use a DJI drone with as much privacy as possible.

What have you considered or looked at already?: I already looked into clients and web apps but both do not work.
I am currently using the DJI fly app with the “local storage only” mode enabled. And when I download firmware updates, I use tracker control to block known trackers but I don’t think it protects me a lot.

In brief, tell us about your privacy threat model?: I am very concerned about Chinese spying and being tracked by big tech companies through trackers.

I also own a DJI drone along with one of their gimbals. My approach involves using an old phone without an internet connection or SIM card as the “screen.” Another option is to have the screen integrated into the controller, eliminating the need for installing an app on any device, though it is quite pricy.

Regarding privacy, it’s likely that they don’t upload extensive video footage to their servers due to its size. While snapshots of your flight and flight location history with analytics are synced to your DJI account, you can disable this feature in settings. However, the extent of data collection in this regard is unclear.

When you mentioned “Local Storage Mode,” I believe you meant ‘Local Data Mode,’ which disconnects from the internet. DJI devices gather analytics related to GPS, hardware information, and approximate location. Unfortunately, the last type can’t be deactivated, but activating ‘Local Data Mode’ should provide some protection.

Given the nature of the product, data can’t be easily manipulated like GPS information. Most of the data collected by their app is similar to what other apps could potentially gather, except for precise location, which can be avoided through the use of an offline device as then at least they don’t have realtime location data.