DHS Warns of Data Threat From Chinese-Made Drones

May 20, 2019 Updated: May 20, 2019

WASHINGTON —The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has warned U.S. firms of the risks to company data from Chinese-made drones, according to a notice reviewed by Reuters on May 20.

The notice, titled “Chinese Manufactured Unmanned Aircraft Systems,” warned that U.S. officials have “strong concerns about any technology product that takes American data into the territory of an authoritarian state that permits its intelligence services to have unfettered access to that data or otherwise abuses that access.”

A spokeswoman for DHS’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency confirmed that it “recently released an industry alert providing organizations with information related to the inherit risks associated with using UAS technology manufactured in China and measures to reduce such risk.”

The notice, which did not name any companies, was reported earlier by CNN. It urged companies to “be aware of whether your UAS data is being stored by the vendor or other third parties. If it is being stored, find out how, where, and for how long.”

This is the latest concern raised by the U.S. government about the threats of Chinese-made devices. On Wednesday, the U.S. Commerce Department added Huawei Technologies and 68 affiliates to an export blacklist, citing the risk of to U.S. national security from the telecommunications network equipment maker.

By David Shepardson