News Updates : Elon Musk and Taylor Swift share the opinion that real-time location information for their private jets shouldn’t be made public online.

However, it is lawful to track aircraft in real time in the United States, which experts believe is essential for both efficiency and safety. The same data is used by websites that track commercial aircraft and publish it to give consumers insights like on-time statistics, but it is also easily accessible to anyone who wants to follow private planes carrying celebrities and other notable people.

Swift’s attorneys have asked that accounts on X, the former Twitter platform, cease tracking her plane, while Musk has notoriously banned accounts on the network that disclosed the whereabouts of his airplane. According to the Washington Post, they sent letters to Jack Sweeney, a college student hiding a number of tracking accounts, claiming that the public needed the information only “to stalk, harass, and exert dominion and control.”

The issue for celebrities who are concerned about devoted followers and well-wishers tracking their every step is that Sweeney’s actions aren’t actually against the law because the data he shares is derived from publicly accessible sources. Advocates and academics agree that private jet owners have good reason to be concerned.

The National Business Aviation Association’s Dan Hubbard stated that newer technology has made information more accessible and put passengers flying in private aircraft at greater risk because it enables them to be “tracked in real time by anyone, anywhere in the world with an internet connection, and any motive.”

How can one follow Taylor Swift’s jet?

Sweeney tracks a wide variety of airplanes owned by politicians, billionaires, celebrities, and Russian oligarchs across several social media profiles. A few of the reports examine the carbon impact of the jet owners’ travels as well.

There is more than one source of the information. It consists of information that has been assembled from a few different publically accessible sources, such as Federal Aviation Administration registration data and broadcast signals from the actual aircraft. ADS-B data, or Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast, is the term for the signals.

The Federal Aviation Administration mandates that aircraft include ADS-B technology, which provides flight traffic controllers with real-time position, altitude, and other critical data. Additionally, the data enables real-time commercial flight position displays on websites such as

According to Hubbard, the technology is “groundbreaking” in terms of flight route efficiency and safety. According to Hubbard, the FAA and Congress have been ensuring for years that aircraft owners who have privacy and safety concerns can choose not to participate in real-time data sharing. However, that doesn’t stop the aircraft from sending it out.

How is the tracking of real-time location legal?

Almost anyone can afford the equipment required to receive ADS-B transmissions, and websites that publish flight data obtained directly from aircraft are exempt from FAA opt-out regulations.

ADS-B Exchange and similar websites aggregate data from enthusiasts with the necessary equipment across the nation, providing a fairly accurate real-time map of the locations of planes, even private ones whose owners request that the FAA withhold such information. The location of the plane’s takeoff and landing can be determined by the data, but not always the passengers.

In 2022, the ADS-B Exchange founder told NBC News that the platform wasn’t designed with celebrity stalking in mind. Being a paparazzi is not the aim of this. It’s for aviation aficionados,” Dan Streufert stated, noting that because the website isn’t an arbiter of information that’s already publicly available, it doesn’t remove data pertaining to famous people.

Is it stalking to reveal the location of a flight?

While Swift’s attorneys claimed that Sweeney’s actions amounted to “stalking and harassing behavior,” privacy and technology specialists clarify that, legally speaking, tracking the flights and disclosing their whereabouts does not qualify as “doxxing” or using someone’s address to target them for abuse or harm.

The University of California, Berkeley’s Chris Hoofnagle, a legal scholar who specializes in the interaction between law and technology, stated that “simply posting publicly-available information does not meet state law definitions of stalking.”

According to Jasmine McNealy, an associate professor at the University of Florida specializing in digital privacy research, while celebrity private-jet users may raise legitimate safety concerns, Sweeney’s posts and the functioning of flight tracking websites lack the necessary malicious intent to be classified as stalking or doxxing.

“What the student has done here is make [public information] more visible,” McNealy told USA TODAY. She also added that, to the chagrin of some public figures, the quick advancement of technology has made it simpler to gather and disseminate information that was perhaps always publicly available but difficult to locate.


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