, 2023-01-22 14:00:00
One of the great perks of private aviation is right there in the name: privacy. But the ability to stay hidden from prying eyes applies only inside the cabin. Social-media accounts that broadcast flight patterns of noteworthy names—including Drake, Taylor Swift, Nancy Pelosi, Kim Kardashian and LVMH chairman Bernard Arnault, as well as numerous sanctioned Russian oligarchs—have racked up millions of followers, with the Twitter handle @ElonJet gaining international attention before Musk himself suspended the account. The spotlight it shines is equal parts geeky hobby, gawker-level curiosity and emissions shaming—and Arnault, at least, eventually got sick of the glare, selling his Bombardier Global 7500 last fall and switching to charter flights with private passenger manifests.
And it’s not just business magnates, celebrities and politicians who are vulnerable. Anyone traveling via a private jet is sharing information transmitted through the plane’s black box. For safety reasons, Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) technology transmits GPS coordinates, altitude, ground speed and other data to air-traffic controllers and nearby aircraft—but it also gives rise to potential dangers ranging from corporate espionage to threats of violence.
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