A lawsuit against his latest, Top Gun: Maverick, is not the only troubling news Cruise has to deal with. Jack Sweeney, the teen who tracked Elon Musk’s private jet, has struck gold again. On Monday, the 19-year-old informed that he had begun tracking the whereabouts of four of Tom Cruise’s private jets. The whereabouts of the actors are uploaded on his Twitter account, which goes by the handle @CelebJets. It is also worth noting that Tom Cruise and Elon Musk are not the only celebrities he tracks. His list includes a score of people, ranging from Jay-Z, Taylor Swift, and Kim Kardashian.
Sweeney’s Modus Operandi
Jack Sweeney uses bots to scrape publicly available air-traffic data, which he utilizes to track various celebrities’ private jets. He told Insider he identifies patterns between the aircraft’s travel history and the celebrity.
“A lot of them are known already or there’s pictures or articles of the celebrity exiting the aircraft somewhere, but no one seems to be tracking besides me,” Sweeney said. Naturally, he’s getting a lot of followers for tracking people’s favorite stars (or vice-versa). According to Insider, Sweeney had started this account in October last year. But over a short span of time, the account has garnered hype and has approximately 28,000 followers. To cater to this growing follower base, Sweeney is adding new celebrities to the list based on requests.
Given the nature of this account, a lot of people have raised concerns that it violates celebrities’ privacy. But Sweeney defends his work, claiming that he is not invading anyone’s privacy and has the right to share details on both his accounts (@CelebJets and @ElonJet).
This account has every right to post jet whereabouts, ADS-B data is public, every aircraft in the world is required to have a transponder, Even AF1 (@AirForceTrack) Twitter policy states data found on other sites is allowed to be shared here as well. pic.twitter.com/Wol8O1DRiq
— ElonJet (@ElonJet) January 18, 2022
Tom Cruise’s Response
Tom Cruise plays the role of Maverick, a fighter pilot, in the highly profitable sequel to the 1986 movie, Top Gun. And it turns out that ‘Maverick’ has an affinity for jets off-screen as well. Tom Cruise is an aircraft enthusiast and has spent money to the tune of millions for acquiring his collection of private aircraft, which boasts of a $4 million World War 2 Era P-51 Mustang Single-seater fighter plane and a $20 million Gulfstream. Sweeney has been able to locate four jets out of Tom’s fleet. A spokesperson for Cruise did not respond to a request for comment.
The teen who tracks Elon Musk's jet has begun monitoring private jets for celebrities like Tom Cruise and Kim Kardashianhttps://t.co/uz0kimiKPQ
— Business Insider Africa (@BusInsiderSSA) June 8, 2022
Tom Cruise is not the lone customer
Tom Cruise is one of many people that Sweeney has begun tracking. Sweeney claimed to have uncovered the whereabouts of Mark Zuckerberg’s private jet last month. Meta had to spend over $27 million on its CEO’s private security in 2021 due to Sweeney’s actions.
Elon Musk even tried to pay Sweeney off, offering $5000 for deleting the account. But Sweeney is determined. He is also wary that Elon can delete his account, following his $44 billion acquistion of Twitter. But the teen refuses to bow to pressure.