Celebrities, billionaires, and climate campaigners are the subject of glory and fortune; they work tirelessly to maintain control over their public image and reputation. All of which is why so many people are urging a publicly listed firm not to track their travels and publish their carbon footprints.
According to Flight Aware, Twitter accounts and websites that provide real-time views of air traffic are frequently the target of pushback ranging from complaints to equipment seizures by individuals who wish their activities were not made public.
According to Dan Streufert, a spokesperson for one American organization, the group has received “dozens” of requests every year from people wanting it to stop publishing aircraft flight movements.
“To date, there has been nothing removed. This is all public knowledge. And I do not want to be the judge of who’s right or wrong,” Streufert added, who is the founder of the plane tracking site ADS-B Exchange, which can monitor any type of aircraft from private, an individual, a politician, celebrity, activist or royalty.
In some situations, the AFP report establishes restrictions, but groups that stitch together the flight plans note that the important information source is lawfully available and open to everyone with suitable equipment to expose it fully into the public domain.
Planes in designated areas must have ADS-B technology that transmits the aircraft location using radio signals that simple equipment may pick up under U.S. regulations. What happens next is spelled out:
“A service like Flightradar24 in Sweden has 34,000 operated receivers throughout the world to pick up the signals, a vital source of the information that is then sent back to the central network and put together with flight schedule and aircraft information data.”
“On occasion, figuring out or verifying to whom a plane belongs might necessitate some detective work,” jet tracker Jack Sweeney said, who submitted a public record request with the US government and received a form signed by the owner of a certain plane, Tesla CEO Elon Musk.
Sweeney has received a lot of attention from his Twitter account, which tracks the movements of Musk’s plane, and even turned down Musk’s offer of $5,000 to quit using the hashtag #ElonJet, that has more than 480,000 followers.