You Don't Own What You Bought: Drone Maker Updates Firmware On All Drones To Stop Any Flights In DC
from the well-that's-not-very-nice dept
But beyond the call for regulations, the drone's maker, DJI has decided to do a little self-regulation in the form of automatically pushing out some new firmware that blocks the drone from flying in downtown DC:
"The updated firmware (V3.10) will be released in coming days and adds a No-Fly Zone centered on downtown Washington, DC and extends for a 25 kilometer (15.5 mile) radius in all directions. Phantom pilots in this area will not be able to take off from or fly into this airspace."Even if you think it's perfectly reasonable to ban drone flights in downtown DC (a different discussion for a different day...), it should be very concerning that the company you bought your product from can magically make it that much less useful on demand without you being able to do a damn thing about it. What if you happen to live in that no-fly zone, and you bought it to use for personal reasons at a local park. You're completely out of luck because an overreaction resulted in the company breaking something you thought you bought.
Sometimes, the fact that devices you buy can be updated on the fly has benefits -- like the stories of Tesla upgrading its cars to make them better even long after people bought them. That's neat. But, it still seems immensely troubling that something you bought can be turned into a paperweight (in certain areas) by the company you bought it from.