New case against flight tracking

midwestpa24

En-Route
Joined
Mar 4, 2016
Messages
4,980
Display Name

Display name:
midwestpa24
I am sure others will disagree, but what does it matter if some college student or someone else knows where your plane is at some point in time.
 
Seems like Ms Swift would have the money to hire a PI to follow Mr Sweeney 24/7, and report on his whereabouts and activities on a Twitter account. I'm sure his life isn't very interesting, but it might make him rethink his position. Anything that works against the idiocy of public ADBS tracking is OK with me.
 
It's obviously been discussed here time and time again, but the public availability of aircraft tracking data is in the news again.

oh good lord...
Her eras tour generated more cashflow than 96% of the companies on the Nasdaq, and she's probably the most internationally recognizable figure today.
And I mean... They have journalists whose job it is to literally follow her every single hour of the day; one dude posting private jet traffic ain't gonna move the needle on her privacy.

She's got the resources to employ a team of special forces guys to protect her 24/7 and make sure no creeps or weirdos use her whereabouts to do anything stupid.

I'm betting she filed that cease+desist just b/c she doesn't like that it advertises her CO2 footprint, pitting the swifties vs the environmentalists lol.
 
Where’s the Elon jet tracker kid? Maybe he can expand his stable.
 
Also, I see no reason why anti-aviation Joe can look up a tail number and find where the owner lives. Only the FAA should have access to that data.
Could you imagine if your car's license plate was publicly searchable? Just Google a license plate and find out the person's home address. Go to a website and put in the registration to get up to the minute location on their vehicle. Imagine the outrage!
 
Simply... security. Lots of idiots out there, some would like their moment in the news. Doing somebody harm would get them their moment of fame. Should you have the right to track my car, my plane etc. Sounds like stalking to me with the possibility of you intending me harm. after 9/11 I'm totally surprised its allowed at all.
 
T.S. should simply keep secret just where and when her concerts are going to be, and announce in the morning where the ticketholders should appear. Then no crazies would know in time to endanger her.

Getting the time of arrival from flight tracking is too little advance notice to make a move in time, but any one who knows when the shows will be can get a suitable spot way ahead of time, and pose a real threat.

Phony issue, for such a person that floods the airwaves and internet with her every move.
 
Simply... security. Lots of idiots out there, some would like their moment in the news. Doing somebody harm would get them their moment of fame. Should you have the right to track my car, my plane etc. Sounds like stalking to me with the possibility of you intending me harm. after 9/11 I'm totally surprised its allowed at all.
Don't disagree, but some random idiot is more likely to stalk her or do harm to her when she is not in her plane than when she is in her plane. She had a stalker at her residence in NYC and took legal action against him. I would think she is safer in her plane than most any place else, even if some college guy or someone else can track her plane's comings and goings.
 
It’s publically available information. Maybe she and musk should use some of their influence to convince politicians to make that type of information not public anymore. She’s going after him because he’s the little guy and her lawyers see it as easier to just intimidate him. The problem isn’t him. If he stops I’m sure someone else will just do it.
 
It's public info she has no leg to stand on IMO.

That said, with these cases popping up more and more and non-celebrities wanting privacy why does ADS-B need a unique identifier beyond an ATC assigned Squawk code? For safety/traffic awareness purposes wouldn't it be enough to only show the aircraft type?
 
The aircraft registration information doesn't tell people where the owner lives?

Even if you register it under an LLC, the LLC still needs a valid address that can be easily looked up.
 
Aircraft registration and pilot records should be confidential. Motor vehicle and driver’s license records have been for many years in most states. What led to that was an actress being murdered by a stalker, who got her address from DMV.
 
It's too bad being rich and famous doesn't have any positives to go along with the negatives. This isn't a big deal. It's not illegal. And she has plenty of ways around it.
 
I blocked my n-number. It wasn't for safety reasons, but I had a couple of guys who added me to their FlightAware so it would notify them every time I took off. One of them would even get on the radio, knowing the frequency I use for air-to-air and ask if I was doing a photo shoot. Maybe it shouldn't bother me, but I don't like someone being able to get a notification every time I take off!

When filming Michael, John Travolta would fly into our local airport and hang out when they weren't shooting. One day he noticed a crowd showing up and said, "Well boys, that's the end of that." I can't imagine living a life where everyone knows who you are and you can't get a moment of peace in public. No amount of money is worth that.
 
The aircraft registration information doesn't tell people where the owner lives?

Even if you register it under an LLC, the LLC still needs a valid address that can be easily looked up.
If you don’t want your name associated with the LLC, you can pay an agent and use their address.
 
Last edited:
What a low level this country has descended to, thinking you're entitled to private information. I guess it isn't just lawyers who've lost their moral compass.
 
I am sure others will disagree, but what does it matter if some college student or someone else knows where your plane is at some point in time.
I've been trying to decide how much, if any, to care about this. If the DOT had a live stream of the location of every car in the country, would that be ok? How is it different?
 
If you don’t want your name associated with the LLC, you can pay an agent and use their address.
Even with that, if you are anyone of celebrity or importance the tail number will quickly get associated with you through the magic of the internet.

I don't really care who is making the case, be it Elon Musk or Taylor Swift or whoever. I do think the FAA made a major mistake making ADS-B information so easily tracked and public. Prior to that, you could look on Flightaware for ATC data, but it was easily blocked as many people and corporations did. Many corporations did so out of both security and protection of industrial knowledge. They didn't want their competitors to know their next move.
 
If you don’t want your name associated with the LLC, you can pay an agent and use their address.
That's quite the exercise to go through just because the FAA decided to post all your personal information on the marquee in Times Square. How about we do the simple thing and not make any of the information public?
 
To me, this is a non-issue. Anyone can use a service to track an ADS-B flight path but looking up the tailnumber does not yield anyone's address unless they have chosen to make it public. Moreover, if there were an address, it would not be Ms. Swifts unless she had taken active steps to make her address visible in the system. Even in the worse case, all she has to do is make a couple of changes and she personally will become invisible. In my area on the eastern side of greater Phoenix, we have a couple of retired folks who love to track and then complain about the noise of training aircraft going to/from a practice area. All they need is the tail number and they were complaining before ADS-B. Not much difference.
 
That's quite the exercise to go through just because the FAA decided to post all your personal information on the marquee in Times Square. How about we do the simple thing and not make any of the information public?
The FAA isn't making any of this information public. It's coming from private ADSB receivers. Do you want to make it illegal to receive radio waves?
 
The FAA isn't making any of this information public. It's coming from private ADSB receivers. Do you want to make it illegal to receive radio waves?
Would it/Should it be legal for thousands of people to band together, put license plate spotters on every corner and publish the whereabouts of every car in realtime?
 
To me, this is a non-issue. Anyone can use a service to track an ADS-B flight path but looking up the tailnumber does not yield anyone's address unless they have chosen to make it public.
But the default when you register a plane is that the address of the owner is visible, unless you follow the procedure to opt out.
Would it/Should it be legal for thousands of people to band together, put license plate spotters on every corner and publish the whereabouts of every car in realtime?
I don't think there is any law prohibiting it, but as the license plate data (unlike aircraft data) isn't public, it's a non issue.

In the case of celebrities, even if the aircraft isn't registered to them personally, all it takes is observing the person using the same N-number a few times for them to associate it with them.

My solution is simple: No ADSB in my plane, no tracking. :) Not that anybody cares where I'm flying anyway.
 
My location is revealed by ADS-B & Flightaware even if the N-number is hidden: the plane is the only one of its type active in the western US. A quick search (by type) on the public FAA registration database connects the plane to me. It’s a great tool for both dangerous stalkers and County property tax collectors looking to find my habitual base.
 
Last edited:
The FAA isn't making any of this information public. It's coming from private ADSB receivers. Do you want to make it illegal to receive radio waves?
I think you're misunderstanding me. I'm not talking about ADS-B data, but about aircraft registration data. Put the N-number in the box on the FAA website, and by default the FAA will give stalker Joe the complete name and address of the owner, or the LLC he used. Which most of the time will still be registered to their home address.
For most people, this level of privacy (combined with UAT anonymous mode) would be enough, and a great improvement to the current situation.
 
In the case of celebrities, even if the aircraft isn't registered to them personally, all it takes is observing the person using the same N-number a few times for them to associate it with them.
I mean, that's true of cars also, right?
 
I think you're misunderstanding me. I'm not talking about ADS-B data, but about aircraft registration data. Put the N-number in the box on the FAA website, and by default the FAA will give stalker Joe the complete name and address of the owner, or the LLC he used. Which most of the time will still be registered to their home address.
For most people, this level of privacy (combined with UAT anonymous mode) would be enough, and a great improvement to the current situation.
Stalkers don't need the FAA database to get anyone's address. Nor is it likely helpful for anyone remotely interested in privacy. And N numbers are painted on the sides of airplanes. Two of Taylor's were parked out in the open when she came here for her concerts. So what private information is the FAA exposing?
 
Stalkers don't need the FAA database to get anyone's address.
Ok, I'll bite. You keep pretending you're not getting it.
Crazy guy sees N-number of plane he's convinced is flying too low, and decides to take matters into his own hands. He puts that number in a search engine, and that returns the owner's name and address, because the FAA made that public information. He can then go there and do whatever.
He doesn't have to wait for the owner to leave the airport and go home, following him all the way. He has all that information in a minute. You don't think that's a problem?
How would you feel if a guy on the road, upset that you didn't move out of the way for him to merge on the highway, decided to google your car's license plate, getting your name and home address, and then shows up at your place and decides to take the law into his own hands?

Yes, a very determined and resourceful individual might be able to figure it out even if that information wasn't public. But I'd rather stop 99% of them rather than 0%.
 
But the default when you register a plane is that the address of the owner is visible, unless you follow the procedure to opt out.
What procedure are you referring to? I think it should be as easy as opting out of address display in the airman registry. Unfortunately I don't believe this is the case.

Nauga,
who hopes he is wrong
 
What procedure are you referring to? I think it should be as easy as opting out of address display in the airman registry. Unfortunately I don't believe this is the case.

Nauga,
who hopes he is wrong
You may be right and I may be wrong, I may have seen the airman registry opt out option and assumed aircraft registration was the same.

Although... in Taylor Swift's case the n-number registry will certainly point to a corporation, not her personal address... something us ordinary folks don't bother with.
 
As far as I know, no way to opt out of registration having full address. You can opt out for your pilot certificate.
 
Back
Top