Even the early critics of ADS-B, who warned that broadcasting the position, type and altitude of individual aircraft might help terrorists target specific aircraft, probably didn’t envision pointing a cellphone at an aircraft in flight and getting all those details.
In my earlier post, I mentioned being concerned about the FAA’s own internal IT security and sharing the information amongst multiple users with the “Net-Centric Operations” concept. What I didn’t mention was that, as controllers, we are prohibited from giving out information about an aircraft that involves their specific location, even though FlightAware gives a pretty good clue to anyone with internet access. Now it seems Plane Finder AR can do it even easier with ADS-B.
A conservative member of Britain’s parliament is quoted as saying,
“The Government must look at outlawing the marketing of such equipment.”
Hate to tell him, but it doesn’t matter if it’s outlawed now; it’s too late. Someone, somewhere, some time, will be more than able to duplicate Pinkfroot’s accomplishment. Even worse, Industry can make money on it – and on software/hardware to try to block it, more money on bypassing the block and even more money by upgrading the original software/hardware…and so on…and so on…and so on…