Taylor Swift threatens legal action over student tracking her jet

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By Asiya Ali

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Taylor Swift's lawyers are threatening legal action against a student who used public flight data to monitor the singer's private jet usage.

The 34-year-old 'Karma' singer's legal team has issued a cease-and-desist letter to Jack Sweeney - a University of Central Florida student who runs social media accounts tracking the private jet use of several public figures, as reported by the Washington Post.

For years, the programmer, 21, used his pages to log the takeoffs and landings of planes and helicopters owned by celebrities, billionaires, politicians, and Russian oligarchs.

He obtains this information from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and recruits hobbyists who broadcast signals from aircraft so that he can measure their carbon footprint usage.

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Taylor Swift was seen getting on a private jet. Credit: Faith Moran / Getty

Last December, Sweeney received a letter from the Grammy-winning singer's attorney, Katie Wright Morrone, who argued that the information he shares on his page poses "an imminent threat to the safety and wellbeing" of Swift.

According to the message, which was shared with The Post, Sweeney’s accounts had caused Swift and her family "direct and irreparable harm, as well as emotional and physical distress," and had heightened her "constant state of fear for her personal safety".

"While this may be a game to you, or an avenue that you hope will earn you wealth or fame, it is a life-or-death matter for our Client," Morrone wrote, adding that there is "no legitimate interest in or public need for this information, other than to stalk, harass, and exert dominion and control".

It mentions several stalkers Swift has dealt with in her career - such as the 33-year-old man who was charged just last month after acting erratically near the singer's New York City home - and says the data gives people "a roadmap to carry out their plans".

When asked if Swift's team had any evidence that stalkers had used the jet-tracking pages, Swift's spokesperson, Tree Paine, said: "We cannot comment on any ongoing police investigation but can confirm the timing of stalkers suggests a connection. His posts tell you exactly when and where she would be."

Sweeney - who earned a Forbes 30 Under 30 nod - responded in a statement and said that it was an attempt to scare him away from sharing public data as it was delivered to him at a time when the 'Love Story' singer faced criticism over her flights' environmental effects.

"This information is already out there. Her team thinks they can control the world," he remarked, adding that the data only shows an incomplete sketch of which cities Swift might be in.

Many people on X (formerly Twitter) have contended that the letter from Swift’s legal team was "gross".

"Taylor Swift threatening to sue a college student for tracking the jet (public info posted with 24-hour delays btw) to silence people talking about her carbon footprint is so gross on so many levels. I hope she gets counter-sued for this SLAPP suit," one person wrote.

Another slammed: "If your jet emissions are about 1,185 times more than the average person's total annual emissions, then you should probably not try to silence the facts."

A third user pointed out: "Taylor Swift can take a 20-mile private jet flight every other day but I have to use a paper straw cuz that'll stop millions of tonnes of CO2 going into the air, sure..."

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Elon Musk also threatened legal action against Sweeney. Credit: Chesnot/Getty

This is not the first time Sweeney has found himself in hot water as in late 2022, he was banned on X by Elon Musk for using automated accounts to track the billionaire's private jet activity.

The student told the 52-year-old that he would only stop publicizing the private jet’s location if Musk paid him $50,000, but, Musk removed the account when he took over the social platform, calling it a "physical safety violation," per the BBC.

More recently, other pages like Facebook and Instagram also removed Sweeney’s social media accounts that track Swift’s private jet activity, claiming that they violate rules on privacy, the Washington Post reported.

Featured image credit: Gilbert Flores / Getty

Taylor Swift threatens legal action over student tracking her jet

vt-author-image

By Asiya Ali

Article saved!Article saved!

Taylor Swift's lawyers are threatening legal action against a student who used public flight data to monitor the singer's private jet usage.

The 34-year-old 'Karma' singer's legal team has issued a cease-and-desist letter to Jack Sweeney - a University of Central Florida student who runs social media accounts tracking the private jet use of several public figures, as reported by the Washington Post.

For years, the programmer, 21, used his pages to log the takeoffs and landings of planes and helicopters owned by celebrities, billionaires, politicians, and Russian oligarchs.

He obtains this information from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and recruits hobbyists who broadcast signals from aircraft so that he can measure their carbon footprint usage.

wp-image-1263248114 size-full
Taylor Swift was seen getting on a private jet. Credit: Faith Moran / Getty

Last December, Sweeney received a letter from the Grammy-winning singer's attorney, Katie Wright Morrone, who argued that the information he shares on his page poses "an imminent threat to the safety and wellbeing" of Swift.

According to the message, which was shared with The Post, Sweeney’s accounts had caused Swift and her family "direct and irreparable harm, as well as emotional and physical distress," and had heightened her "constant state of fear for her personal safety".

"While this may be a game to you, or an avenue that you hope will earn you wealth or fame, it is a life-or-death matter for our Client," Morrone wrote, adding that there is "no legitimate interest in or public need for this information, other than to stalk, harass, and exert dominion and control".

It mentions several stalkers Swift has dealt with in her career - such as the 33-year-old man who was charged just last month after acting erratically near the singer's New York City home - and says the data gives people "a roadmap to carry out their plans".

When asked if Swift's team had any evidence that stalkers had used the jet-tracking pages, Swift's spokesperson, Tree Paine, said: "We cannot comment on any ongoing police investigation but can confirm the timing of stalkers suggests a connection. His posts tell you exactly when and where she would be."

Sweeney - who earned a Forbes 30 Under 30 nod - responded in a statement and said that it was an attempt to scare him away from sharing public data as it was delivered to him at a time when the 'Love Story' singer faced criticism over her flights' environmental effects.

"This information is already out there. Her team thinks they can control the world," he remarked, adding that the data only shows an incomplete sketch of which cities Swift might be in.

Many people on X (formerly Twitter) have contended that the letter from Swift’s legal team was "gross".

"Taylor Swift threatening to sue a college student for tracking the jet (public info posted with 24-hour delays btw) to silence people talking about her carbon footprint is so gross on so many levels. I hope she gets counter-sued for this SLAPP suit," one person wrote.

Another slammed: "If your jet emissions are about 1,185 times more than the average person's total annual emissions, then you should probably not try to silence the facts."

A third user pointed out: "Taylor Swift can take a 20-mile private jet flight every other day but I have to use a paper straw cuz that'll stop millions of tonnes of CO2 going into the air, sure..."

wp-image-1263231262 size-full
Elon Musk also threatened legal action against Sweeney. Credit: Chesnot/Getty

This is not the first time Sweeney has found himself in hot water as in late 2022, he was banned on X by Elon Musk for using automated accounts to track the billionaire's private jet activity.

The student told the 52-year-old that he would only stop publicizing the private jet’s location if Musk paid him $50,000, but, Musk removed the account when he took over the social platform, calling it a "physical safety violation," per the BBC.

More recently, other pages like Facebook and Instagram also removed Sweeney’s social media accounts that track Swift’s private jet activity, claiming that they violate rules on privacy, the Washington Post reported.

Featured image credit: Gilbert Flores / Getty