DJI's Proposed UAS Remote Identification System
Posted on March 27 2017
As a responsible drone operator, you have no reason to withhold any information about yourself while flying, right? Wrong. Despite what anti-drone people like to think.
DJI recognizes the plight of the responsible drone user in a culture that is slow to adapt to the emerging technology. They also recognize the need for an identification system for law enforcement and general security needs for unresponsible drone operators. (We know you guys don't fall under the latter.. Right?)
"The interest in privacy is, unfortunately, arguably heightened compared to manned aircraft considering the occasional violent confrontations that UAS operators have faced over the last few years, including physical assault and gunfire. A system that enables belligerent individuals to look up the name and address of, and then knock on the door of a local UAS operator, is not acceptable and will detrimentally impact UAS operators who are operating safely and doing nothing wrong." -DJI “What’s In a Name?” A Call for a Balanced Remote Identification Approach
In the "DJI Technology Whitepaper" which can be downloaded HERE, DJI takes a stand for its customers and all other drone operators as well by offering a push towards a solution that can assist with law enforcement and security while maintaining privacy for the operator themselves.
They offer many examples for which having the information publicly available would be detrimental to pilot safety or business interests (like competitors finding out a company uses a drone to inspect their crops.)
DJI's proposed plan would use transmission systems that are already on board most consumer aircraft and would transmit location as well as license number. The key here is that law enforcement would be the only persons with access to any more identifying information (name, phone number, address) unless the operator themselves choose to disclose the information themselves. Anyone would be able to access the location and license number in order to notify authorities of any wrongdoing, but only those authorities would be able to access the personal information of the aircraft owner to investigate.
This paper is a step in the right direction for sUAS regulation around the globe, as tensions still remain high in civilian areas for "peeping toms," and militaries seeing a rise in consumer drones used for warfare.