Manhandled by a 19-year-old student who shares information on his private plane travel in real time on a Twitter account, Elon Musk said he was concerned for his safety. But after having proposed an offer of 5,000 dollars against the cessation of these activities (rejected), the eccentric billionaire in spite of himself caused another problem, of greater magnitude.
Remember, a few days ago, we learned that Jack Sweeney, a 19-year-old student, had programmed a bot on Twitter to track the air travel of several billionaires and tech pros, including Elon Musk via the account @ElonJet. Problem, the latter does not hear it that way, and had negotiated the cessation of all activities against an offer of 5,000 dollars. Proposal refused by Sweeney.
The latter subsequently outbid an amount of 50,000 euros. A sum that would have allowed him to pay for his studies, and to buy a Tesla car. But after careful consideration (or not), Sweeney finally decided to see even further: to set up his business.
If he believes that on the negotiating table, the ball is in the billionaire’s court, Sweeney did not wait for his eventual response to start his business Ground Controlalways on the principle of monitoring the flights of the most influential personalities in the world, but with the desire to capitalize on it. Are now targeted Bill Gates or Jeff Bezos.
Companies such as Nasdaq Data Link are interested, since private aviation and business flight information provides important business data on a company’s business activity, and therefore for the financial sector.
Theft tracking companies make millions of dollars in revenue a year,” Sweeney said. He continues: “A little bit of what they make would be a good income for me.”
Landed near Brownsville, Texas, US. apx. flt. time 45 Mins.
Rights and privacy issues
While programming the initial bot and creating the account was by no means a crime (since Sweeney uses bots that analyze public ADS-B data), it’s not all that straightforward. Launching a business based on the provision of real-time aircraft location data poses constraints in terms of rights and confidentiality. Colby Howard, President of Paragon Intelwhich provides business aviation information, explains:
The days of cowboys sucking up data and selling it for hundreds of thousands of dollars are long gone,” he said. have legal problems.”
Thus, making a profit through the provision of this type of information can therefore generate legal problems. Howard takes the case of App Annie, an alternative data provider who was indicted by the Securities and Exchange Commission in 2021. Result: a fine of 10 million dollars for the structure, and 300,000 dollars for the boss. Sweeney is warned.