Picture: ISTOCK
Picture: ISTOCK

Washington  —  The  department of homeland security has warned US firms of the risks to company data from Chinese-made drones, according to a notice on Monday.

The notice, entitled Chinese Manufactured Unmanned Aircraft Systems, warns  that US 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 the department’s cybersecurity and infrastructure security agency confirmed that it “recently released an industry alert providing organisations with information related to the inherit risks associated with using  UAS (unmanned aerial vehicle) 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 US government about the threats of Chinese-made devices. On Wednesday, the US commerce department added Huawei Technologies  and 68 affiliates to an export blacklist, citing the risk of to US national security from the telecommunications network equipment maker.

China’s SZ DJI Technology, the world’s largest maker of consumer drones, said in a statement on Monday that “the security of our technology has been independently verified by the US government and leading US businesses”.

The company added that it gives “customers full and complete control over how their data is collected, stored, and transmitted.” It said that for government and critical infrastructure customers, “we provide drones that do not transfer data to DJI or via the internet.”

The department did not immediately comment on the notice, reported earlier by CNN.