Taylor Swift’s legal team has threatened a college student for tracking the singer’s flights on social media.
Jack Sweeney, a student at the University of Central Florida, was sent a cease-and-desist letter from Swift’s team in December, Sweeney confirmed to HuffPost in an email. The Washington Post was the first to report the letter.
As the Post noted, Sweeney uses public information “from the Federal Aviation Administration and volunteer hobbyists who can track the aircraft via the signals they broadcast” to track flights. He has shared Swift and other public figures’ flight data on multiple social media accounts he runs.
Swift’s lawyer, Katie Wright Morrone, wrote in the letter that Sweeney’s tracking accounts have caused “direct and irreparable harm” to Swift and her family and that there is no need for the information “other than to stalk, harass, and exert dominion and control.”
“While this may be a game to you, or an avenue that you hope will earn you wealth or fame, it is a life-or-death matter for our Client,” the letter added. Morrone did not immediately respond to HuffPost’s request for comment.
In an email to HuffPost, Sweeney said that his intentions are “not to cause harm.” He got the letter in December, which he said was “days after headlines criticized her jet use and its carbon emissions.”
“Swift’s team suggests that I have no legitimate interest in sharing jet information, which is fundamentally incorrect,” Sweeney told HuffPost. “Her fans, who have grown the TaylorSwiftJets accounts and subreddit, are the ones truly interested. These tracking accounts consistently have more supporters and fans.”
In an email to HuffPost, a spokesperson for Swift said that Sweeney’s accounts and stalking might be linked.
“We cannot comment on any ongoing police investigation but can confirm the timing of stalkers suggests a connection,” the spokesperson wrote. “His posts tell you exactly when and where she would be.”
Sweeney told the Post that he believed the letter was a way to scare him and that his accounts tracking Swift’s flights are no different than seeing her public tour schedule or guessing which Kansas City Chiefs game she might attend to support her boyfriend, Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce.
Sweeney is the same person who found himself in hot water with Elon Musk for tracking his flights on X, formerly Twitter. In 2021, Musk, the owner of X, offered Sweeney $5,000 to take down the account, but Sweeney declined. In 2022, Musk banned Sweeney’s account, saying that it was considered doxxing.
Since then, Sweeney has made a new account tracking Musk’s flights that offers updates with a 24-hour delay in order to follow X’s rule against real-time location tracking.