Fighting Fires with Chinese Drones Despite Possible Data Theft

FREMONT, CALIF. – In the future, every firetruck will carry a drone, much like they carry a water hose today, says Jeff Kleven, acting division chief of operations with the Fremont (California) Fire Department. 

The department, which has 14 drones, uses the technology to save lives and make firefighters’ jobs safer. Recently, with the help of a drone equipped with an infrared camera able to detect body heat, the Fremont police rescued a deaf child at night.  

The fire department has worked with Chinese drone maker DJI to use its drones and software for rescues and training. 

‘Strong concerns’ about data 

Recently, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security repeated concerns that Chinese-made drones could be leaking sensitive data to China. While DJI wasn’t named, it is the world’s largest commercial drone maker. In 2017, the U.S. Army barred use of DJI’s drones.

Kleven said the department takes seriously concerns about data. The DHS’s

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