Not-So-Private Jet

Over the last several months, we have witnessed the blossoming romance of recent Super Bowl champ Travis Kelce and pop icon Taylor Swift. In October, after attending the premiere of the theatrical release of her tour movie in L.A., Swift flew to Kansas City to watch Kelce and the Chiefs defeat the Denver Broncos on a Thursday night. A few days later, the pair were spotted at a ‘Saturday Night Live’ after party in New York City.

In November, Kelce and Swift were seen at the Four Seasons Hotel in Buenos Aires, Argentina, as the pro-bowler was in town to catch her concert during his team’s bye week. In December, Swift sat in a luxury box at Lambeau Field to see Kelce lose to the Packers. Two weeks later, she traveled to Foxborough, Massachusetts to watch the Chiefs-Patriots game. In January she visited Baltimore to see the Chiefs defeat the Ravens.

During that window, Swift had tour dates in Miami, New Orleans, Indianapolis, Toronto, Rio De Janeiro and Sao Paolo. After her concert on February 10 in Tokyo, she left to attend the Super Bowl in Las Vegas, and then immediately took off for Melbourne, Australia, for her next tour stop.

While the duo has been accused of packing on the PDA, the two of them have just been packing in general with all that traveling. Other than her tour dates, you never know where Swift may turn up next. Except for Jack Sweeney, of course.

Sweeney is a junior studying information technology at the University of Central Florida. The college student uses social media posts and an algorithm he developed that accesses publicly available records of jet ownership and flight data provided by the Federal Aviation Administration to track celebrities.

After disclosing the destinations of some of Swift’s flights, he received a cease-and-desist letter in December from Swift’s attorneys of the Venable law firm, based in Washington, D.C. The letter blamed Sweeny for broadcasting Swift’s whereabouts to “individuals intent on harming her, or with nefarious or violent intentions, a roadmap to carry out their plans.”

Swift’s attorneys further accused Sweeney of “disregarding the personal safety of others,” the “willful and repeated harassment of our client,” and “intentional, offensive, and outrageous conduct and consistent violations of our client’s privacy.” As a result, they demanded that Sweeney “immediately stop providing information about our client’s location to the public.”

In response, Sweeney emailed the letter to The Associated Press. In his message to the media outlet, he emphasized that he never intended to cause harm, he also believes strongly in the importance of transparency and public information. “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.

At one point, Sweeney had more than 30 such accounts on Twitter, now known as X, including one that tracked Elon Musk, who purchased the platform for $44 billion in 2022. While irked, Musk tweeted that his commitment to free speech required him not to ban Sweeney’s elonjet account even though he considered it “a direct personal safety risk.” Before long, though, Musk banned Sweeney from X, accusing him of endangering his personal safety.

It doesn’t appear that Sweeney is breaking any laws. So, it will be interesting to see if Swift will take any further steps to curb his activity or just ‘shake it off.’

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Reg P. Wydeven

Elder Law and Estate Planning Attorney at McCarty Law LLP
Hoping to follow in his father’s footsteps from a young age, Reg’s practice primarily consists of advising individuals on estate planning, estate settlement and elder law matters. As Reg represents clients in matters like guardianship proceedings and long-term care admissions, he feels grateful to be able to offer families thorough legal help in their time of need.

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