A teenager who runs a Twitter account that tracks Elon Musk’s private jet is now targeting more billionaires and their planes in the hopes of making some money, despite being blocked on social media by the Tesla chief executive officer.
The account tracks the businessman’s private jet and tweets out each time it takes off or lands, providing followers with a short summary of flight information, such as the location and duration of each trip.
Air traffic information gathered by bots is publicly available.
However, Musk asked Sweeney to take down the account because it was a “security risk” and rejected a monetary offer by the teenager to remove the account.
The business will monitor the flight activity of private jets owned by other high-profile people such as billionaires Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos, according to Bloomberg.
“How about $5k for this account and generally helping make it harder for crazy people to track me?” Musk asked the teenager, to which Sweeney responded, “Sounds doable, account and all my help. Any chance to up that to $50K?”
While Musk initially agreed to think about the teenager’s counteroffer, he later wrote to tell him that it “doesn’t feel right to pay to shut this down.”
“I would like to state though I’ve already been tracking all those billionaires, I don’t really have any funding yet,” Sweeney told The Epoch Times.
Tracking private planes isn’t a new phenomenon and can sometimes provide critical business information about everything from a company’s (or individual’s) activity, to potential mergers and acquisitions.
In 2019, the flight path of a jet to Omaha, Nebraska, the home of investor Warren Buffett was tracked by Specialist research house Quandl.
The flight data was published by research firm Gordon Haskett Research Advisors who speculated that Buffet’s investment firm, Berkshire Hathaway Inc might be preparing to invest in Occidental Petroleum Corporation.
A day later, Berkshire announced it was funding $10 billion in cash into Occidental to back its $38 billion cash-and-stock offer for Anadarko Petroleum Corp.
“Companies in flight tracking have millions in revenue per year,” Sweeney told Bloomberg. “Just a small cut of what they make would be good revenue for me.”