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  #1  
Old 11-05-2019, 04:36 PM
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RV8JD RV8JD is offline
 
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Default FAA Acts To Preserve ADS-B Data Privacy (1090 ES)

Not perfect, but it's a start:

https://www.avweb.com/aviation-news/...-data-privacy/
"A side effect of the FAA’s move toward mandatory ADS-B position reporting next year is the ability for anyone to see a given aircraft’s position and identification, which raises privacy concern for pilots and aircraft owners. Now the FAA will make it possible for owners to opt out of broadcasting ADS-B data in a way that directly reveals the aircraft’s identity.

The first stage of what the FAA calls the Privacy ICAO Address (PIA) Program will be implemented for the start of the mandatory ADS-B Out equipage on January 1, 2020. According to the FAA, it will set up a web portal where operators can request that their aircraft’s ICAO address and position not be publicly visible. Also, according to the National Business Aircraft Association, the FAA said it would “establish new data-sharing limits for air traffic tracking service providers if operators want to opt out of having their flight information broadcast over the internet. Those limits are expected to go in effect by year-end.”

The second phase of the PIA process will be to move it to a third-party service provider sometime mid-year 2020. And with that will come improved opportunities to apply for a new “pseudo” identification separate from the aircraft registration. During the FAA’s management of the program, operators can change no more often than every 60 days, but once transitioned to third-party management, registrants in the PIA can change their coded IDs every 20 days.

These features are available only for US-registered aircraft operating in US airspace and that have 1090 ADS-B equipment. "
...
"An “anonymous” mode is available for aircraft using the 978 UAT form of ADS-B Out but only when not squawking a discreet transponder code and the installed hardware supports it. "
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  #2  
Old 11-05-2019, 05:29 PM
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Yep, it's a good start. I thought something like this was in the works and it's why I finally broke down and decided to use the 330ES transponder on my Rocket and the GNX375 in the -8.

Many will scoff at the privacy issue, but it continues to be a big issue with me.
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  #3  
Old 11-05-2019, 07:40 PM
jpowell13 jpowell13 is offline
 
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I agree. I don't mind family and friends tracking my flights, but don't want the rest of the world following my every move. I'll be taking advantage of any option available to maintain my privacy. Thanks for your post Carl. John
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  #4  
Old 11-06-2019, 06:39 AM
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It's a good start, and a huge initial step by the FAA in overcoming their own bureaucracy. The business aviation and RTCA have been pushing 1090 privacy for awhile and it's nice to see some payoff.

ds
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  #5  
Old 11-06-2019, 08:50 AM
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It will be interesting to see how this works in practise. When everything is broadcast on open airways, there's not much to prevent the FlightAware's of the world from just receiving that data and posting it. *Your* ADS-B system will still broadcast your identity, I suspect (apart from the Anonymous mode).
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  #6  
Old 11-06-2019, 01:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Snowflake View Post
It will be interesting to see how this works in practise. When everything is broadcast on open airways, there's not much to prevent the FlightAware's of the world from just receiving that data and posting it. *Your* ADS-B system will still broadcast your identity, I suspect (apart from the Anonymous mode).
Right. It's going to come down to "convincing" the various 3rd party groups to play ball with the anonymous guidelines. Anybody with enough receivers under their own control effectively sidesteps the effort.
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  #7  
Old 11-06-2019, 03:06 PM
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The solution is on the back-end, not the front, but it's probably too late for this: stop publishing in the open all the information about a plane's ownership, address, etc., or the pilot's personal information. Think of this data like auto licenses and license plates...I can set up all sorts of cameras and install license plate ID software, but if all I get is a plate number, and I can't get to the owner info (and from there to owner's address, etc.), it's no good to me.
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  #8  
Old 11-06-2019, 03:12 PM
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Default Private ICAO Address

Quote:
Originally Posted by airguy View Post
Right. It's going to come down to "convincing" the various 3rd party groups to play ball with the anonymous guidelines. Anybody with enough receivers under their own control effectively sidesteps the effort.
I think the idea here is that the 1090ES transponders will be programmed with a "private" ICAO code that can't be translated into or traced back to an N Number. Obviously, if someone can get a visual or radio ID on an aircraft (and N number) while tracking it's ICAO code, this system can be defeated unless the codes change periodically. An aircraft owner can chose to have their identity removed from the public aircraft registration database if you really want privacy.

The 3rd party flight tracking vendors have already cooperated with the FAA for a number of years regarding requests to block N-Numbers from flight tracking providers. In the pre-ADSB days, N-numbers were not typically broadcast to flight tracking websites if you were not "in the system" with ATC, i.e. squawking 1200 and not on a flight plan or on flight following. However, if you were flying with a mode S transponder (even non ES) your N number would be visible on some tracking websites even while squawking 1200.

I put the pre-ADSB ID blocking system to test starting back in 2014. The reason for this was that an eccentric anti-aircraft resident near my local airport started sending threatening letters to aircraft owners telling us that we were flying over his neighborhood and would we please fly elsewhere or he would “elevate” the complaint. He indicated the street intersection location of the neighborhood but signed the letters under the name of a non-existent home-owners association and used a fake return address. Since this person's "neighborhood" was 2 miles upwind of the departure end of our field's runway, I figured that I was typically over 2000' AGL anytime I did a straight out departure, which is pretty rare because normal noise abatement practice is to make a right 45 departure from this runway which puts me well north of his area. Nevertheless, there was absolutely no way that he could be getting a visual ID on my 3 inch N-numbers so I figured that he must somehow be obtaining the registration info from a flight tracking website. As it turns out, our airport's Noise Abatement Office web page has a link to a real tracking site called "WebTrak" to display active aircraft and the noise monitor measurements. However, on the flights that I supposedly received the letters for, I was flying VFR and squawking 1200. Then I discovered that the other VFR folks that were receiving these letters all had mode S transponders and the real time flight tracking sites could display N numbers for “not in the system” aircraft squawking 1200 if they had MODE S transponders. After this discovery, I made a request through the FAA (they have a website for it) to have my N number blocked from flight tracking services. It turns out, the FAA doesn’t actually block the broadcast of N-Numbers to flight tracking web sites (actually, they can with a higher level request), but they have an agreement with these sites that in order to have access to the FAA tracking data, they must honor N number blocking requests. Nevertheless, since I made the request, I’ve no longer been able to find my N number on the tracking sites and I also stopped receiving the threatening letters. I realize that someone could also just listen to a radio to determine the ID of aircraft which is why some with a bigger privacy needs than me use anonymous call sign services like fltplan.com “dot com” call signs, but I think this is only available for turbine aircraft.

Skylor

RV-8

Last edited by skylor : 11-07-2019 at 01:03 AM.
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  #9  
Old 11-06-2019, 03:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skylor View Post
I think the idea here is that the 1090ES transponders will be programmed with a "private" ICAO code that can't be translated into or traced back to an N Number. Obviously, if someone can get a visual or radio ID on an aircraft (and N number) while tracking it's ICAO code, this system can be defeated unless the codes change periodically. An aircraft owner canchose to have their identity removed from the public aircraft registration database if you really want privacy.
Exactly. Rotating random 1090ES codes won't fix the problem but it'll make it harder for the casual airplane tracker to specifically identify us.

The hard reality is that if you're flying around and blasting out a unique transponder signal, whether it's your Mode S address or just a discrete four-digit transponder code, you can be tracked by crowd-sourced flight tracking websites even without ADS-B or data from the FAA.

Dave
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  #10  
Old 11-06-2019, 09:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skylor View Post
I An aircraft owner canchose to have their identity removed from the public aircraft registration database if you really want privacy.
How does one do this? I know you can have your *pilot* license information made non-public, but I have not found any way to make the *aircraft* information private (other than have the FAA not distribute ADS-B-derived information to outside sources, like Flightaware, Flightradar24, etc.).
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