How do Private Investigators Use Surveillance?

Private investigators often have to make use of surveillance techniques for their work. Often times PIs conduct surveillance to collect evidence for an open case. However, on other ocassions some clients request surveillance simply to gather information that they might use later.

The type of clientelle can vary, of course. They can be both individuals, companies or even corporations. For instance, a corporation may ask a private investigator to conduct surveillance internally, to uncover illicit activity within the business. They may also employ these services to gather information about their competitors.

As we’ve discussed in the latest articles, insurance fraud is another reason companies might employ a PI for their surveillance services. Private individuals may also hire a private investigator if they are under the suspicion that their spouse is being unfaithful. Child custody cases are also sensitive cases in which a PI might brought in to make sure a parent is staying within the bounds of their agreement.

There are a plethora of reasons people hire private investigators and why they might need their surveillance expertise. Below we will be delineating some of the most common techniques that might be used for this. This, of course, will also take into account that this activity must all be done legally. Something PIs have experience in and train to do.

Types of surveillance

  • Digital surveillance: This kind of surveillance focuses on logging and observing a subject’s behavior online. There are a couple of different approaches PIs can take when engaging in this kind of work. Intrusive digital surveillance would mean checking the subject’s internet history, logging into a subject’s social media profiles in search of evidence, or even searching through deleted files. A less intrusive approach would entail following the subject on social media or searching for them on the web.
  • Physical surveillance: This is the type of surveillance most often associated with private detectives. It’s quite self-explanatory, this strategy involves the investigator following their target physically, observing them in public. They must do this in public spaces, or somewhere someone cannot have a reasonable expectation of privacy, otherwise, this would be illegal. This is because PIs are beholden to the same laws as regular citizens. If data is not collected in a legal manor, it cannot be used in court, rendering it useless.
  • Technical surveillance: This approach is one of the most, if not the most, commonly used. This type of evidence is easier to collect than others and more accessible with access to the right avenues. It would involve a private investigator collecting recordings from cameras, microphones, movement sensors and so on. So long as they can acquire permission to collect this evidence, it is readily available.

If you find yourself in need of a licensed private investigator and their particular set of skills, please feel free to call us. Or simply click on this link to get in contact with one of our team members.

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