How Has Technology Advanced Private Investigator Surveillance?

With the evolution of technology, the landscape of a private investigator’s processes, techniques and particularly surveillance have changed drastically. A PI will engage in surveillance for a myriad of cases including anything from a missing persons case to proving infidelity. Technology plays a major role in surveillance, enabling a PI to effectively and efficiently gather and document important information that is pertinent to their client and the case.

The following are ways in which technology has advanced the scope and the efficiency of private investigator surveillance:

  • Concealed cameras. A hidden camera, particularly one that can pick up audio, is particularly useful to a private investigator. While the information gathered through these means may not be admissible in court, it could be crucial in obtaining information that will lead to the solving or providing enough evidence of a case for their client. Cameras are becoming increasingly smaller, higher-tech and more difficult to detect.
  • Drones are a sophisticated, new technology that allow for widespread surveillance of a moving or stationary target without the private investigator needing to physically be at the scene. They can capture crucial video and photo that can assist in the case or provide the evidence necessary to prove something.
  • GPS trackers. GPS devices make it easy to monitor a person’s whereabouts without having to physically follow them. They are discreet, can be virtually undetectable, and are increasingly useful in a variety of cases (i.e. identifying where the alleged cheating spouse is really going when they say they are “working late”). Some devices are magnetic and battery powered that can be easily concealed in someones car, whereas a more sophisticated model can be wired into the car’s electrical system. Also incredibly useful are tracking devices or apps that can be found within someone’s phone which can pinpoint someone’s exact movements and whereabouts.
  • Social media. Different social media channels including Instagram, Twitter and Facebook can be very useful in providing a PI with personal information on the person they are investigating, including information about their home or business, their car, places they frequent, people they spend time with, activities they take part in, etc. Social media snooping involves the least amount of work and often provides the most amount of information, as people are all too willing to divulge all parts of their lives on social media.
  • Spyware software. Technology has allowed for small spyware software programs to be downloaded and installed on an individual’s device in order to retrieve data and other incriminating evidence that can be useful in a PIs case.

If you are considering hiring a private investigator, ask about what kind of surveillance techniques they employ. An effective PI will know their stuff.

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