Taylor Swift threatens legal action against student tracking her private jet

Taylor Swift is threatening to sue a US student who has been tracking and sharing her private jet flights online, as Faye Barker reports

Taylor Swift is threatening a student with legal action after he tracked and shared the flights she takes on her private jet.

The man at the centre of the saga is 22-year-old Jack Sweeney, who uses public data and social media to track the singer's aircraft.

Mr Sweeney leaked the letter Swift's lawyers sent on X, formerly Twitter, on Tuesday evening.

It accuses him of “intentional, offensive, and outrageous conduct and consistent violations" of Swift's privacy.

They accused Mr Sweeney of providing “individuals intent on harming her, or with nefarious or violent intentions, a roadmap to carry out their plans.”

They also said “the timing of stalkers” suggests a connection to Mr Sweeney's flight-tracking sites. 

However, the Florida college student's accounts simply share data which is made publicly available by the US government's Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)

“One should reasonably expect that their jet will be tracked, whether or not I’m the one doing it, as it is public information after all,” he wrote in response to the legal letter.

Swift's spokesperson did not reply to a question asking whether the lawyers had issued the same demand to the FAA.

The leaked legal threat comes as the pop megastar comes under increased scrutiny over her private jet travel.

Her growing romance with Kansas City Chiefs player Travis Kelce - one of the NFL’s most celebrated players - has meant much travel on private jets to spend time together.

Travis Kelce and Taylor Swift pictured celebrating on Sunday. Credit: AP

Now that Kelce's team has a spot in the Super Bowl final, there is speculation over whether Swift will attend.

If she does, she'll need to travel from Tokyo, where she is on tour, to Las Vegas, Nevada.

That will mean she will travel more than 19,400 miles by private jet in just under two weeks - about 14 times as much as the average American household emits in a year, according to data from the US Energy Information Administration.

Swift’s publicist told The Associated Press that the star "purchased more than double the carbon credits needed to offset all tour travel” before her tour began - but did not provide any details.

Swift is not the only celebrity Mr Sweeney featured, he maps the journeys of many billionaires, politicians and other celebrities.

One of the most high profile is billionaire Elon Musk, whose journeys he shares 24 hours after the flights, via his account ElonJet but Delayed.

Musk subsequently had his own row with Mr Sweeney, tweeting at one point that his commitment to free speech required him not to ban his @elonjet account even though he considered it “a direct personal safety risk.”

But it wasn't long before Musk U-turned and effectively banned the student from X, accusing Mr Sweeney of endangering his personal safety.

Swift is the latest of many famous people to be scrutinised over pollution from their globe-trotting.

Elon Musk, Bill Gates, Leonardo DiCaprio and even the British royal family have periodically gotten attention for their travel on private jets.

Gates has defended his travel by private plane by saying he purchases offsets and supports clean technology and other sustainability initiatives.

Big events, from Olympic Games to the annual UN climate summit have also been criticised because of the thousands of people flying in to attend, travel that all contributes to climate change.

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