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The college student who tracks Elon Musk's private jet made Forbes' 30 Under 30 list

The college student who tracks Elon Musk's private jet made Forbes' 30 Under 30 list
Jack Sweeney and Elon Musk
Jack Sweeney started several accounts on social media that track private jets, including Elon Musk's aircraft.Jack Sweeney/Getty Images
  • Jack Sweeney was included on the Forbes 30 Under 30 list for consumer technology.

  • The 21-year-old famously went head-to-head with Elon Musk over sharing the billionaire's private flight data.

  • Sweeney tracks a number of celebrity aircraft and now runs his own flight-tracking database.

Jack Sweeney, the college student who made headlines for tracking Elon Musk's private jets, achieved another milestone on Tuesday when he was included on Forbes' 30 Under 30 list.

The 21-year-old University of Central Florida student was listed on Forbes' list of entrepreneurs in consumer technology.

"Jack Sweeney has created bots that track the private jets of the rich and famous, including Mark Cuban, Taylor Swift, and various Russian oligarchs, and has helped journalists, researchers, and hobbyists track planes across social media," the Forbes' profile reads.

Sweeney told Business Insider that the recognition is one of many reasons why he's glad he didn't cave to Musk's demands for him to stop tracking his private jet.

"I'm thankful I got on the list," he said over text. "I think this event just adds to the reasons why I'm glad I didn't take it down. It's allowed me to meet great people and continue to expand on what I love, jet-tracking."

The college student told BI he plans to continue working on and improving his jet-tracking projects.

Over the past few years, Sweeney has tracked and shared flight data for some of the world's most powerful people, including Taylor Swift and Mark Zuckerberg. Since starting out sharing data from the ADS-B Exchange on Twitter using automated bots, Sweeney has expanded his accounts to Instagram and Threads, as well as launched his own database for monitoring aircraft.

The college student first entered the spotlight last year after Musk offered him $5,000 to stop sharing his flight information on social media, but Sweeney upped the ante and asked for $50,000. Musk never followed up, Sweeney previously told Business Insider.

Later, Sweeney's accounts on Twitter, including @ElonJet and @ZuccJet, were suspended in December after Musk took over the platform, now called X. At the time, Musk said the jet-tracking accounts were a "physical safety violation."

Musk even threatened to sue Sweeney at one point. Since, X has even updated its private-information policy to restrict users from sharing people's live locations, and Sweeney has begun posting flight data after a 24-hour waiting period to adhere to the social media site's policies.

Read the original article on Business Insider