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Security experts have condemned an app which allows users to track the precise location of a passenger aircraft in the sky, claiming it is a serious threat to security and could be abused by terrorists.

The Plane Finder AR is available on the Apple iPhone and Google Android phones and costs less than £2 cash for mobile app. When users point their phone at the sky, the app tells them the position, height and speed of the airplane which is nearest, and even goes as far as to list the airline, flight number, departure point, destination and even the likely course.

By intercepting the so-called Automatic Dependent Surveillance – Broadcasts (ADS-B) transmitted by most passenger aircraft, the app is able to gain data about the planes, but experts fear it could be an accessory to terrorists planning an attack.

After the 9/11 attacks in America in 2001, a senior Federal Aviation Administration official warned about the dangers of ADS-B technology in the wrong hands. He wrote: “Broadcasting the identity and location of aircraft . . . would open the door for a terrorist to attack a specific aircraft or airline.”

However, Pinkfroot who developed the app disagrees that Plane Finder AR is a terror tool. Director of Pinkfroot Lee Armstrong tells the Daily Mail: “We have packaged information that is freely broadcast. We haven’t had any objection from the authorities in the UK or anywhere else in the world.

“It is only real-time to an extent – it is about 30 seconds behind. If someone really wants to do that [shoot down a jet] they could buy their own ADS-B or radar.”

If you have an innocent interest in planes, recycle your mobile for an iPhone or Android to get this app.

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Plane Finder AR | 9/11 | mobile phone app

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