Thanks to literature and reality TV, there are a lot of conflicting ideas about private detectives and what their jobs actually entail. Author Conan Doyle’s iconic character, the stoic and calculating Sherlock Holmes, continues to inspire TV series and movies to this day. The voyeuristic licensed private investigators on the hit MTV show “Cheaters,” however, are much different. What, then, is the reality?
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, private investigator services are not wholly clear-cut. Detectives’ jobs may or may not include surveillance, gathering evidence, conducting interviews, and/or verifying employment and education. Increasingly, investigators’ job descriptions are expanding to include computer, digital system, and mobile device monitoring.
Private Detectives Go Digital
With the increasing popularity of — and reliance on — computers, tablets, and mobile devices, it only makes sense that digital evidence is playing a much larger role in investigations and court cases. Law firms and courts are calling on private investigator searches to search smartphones and computer records for copyright, family law, and criminal cases. The upcoming Aurora Theater Shooting trial, for example, will utilize images from the gunman’s cellphone and relevant computer data. Similarly, an increasingly number of spouses using inappropriate texts or Facebook messages in divorce courts.
Law Firms Aren’t the Ones Seeking Out Private Detectives
Although many courts rely on private investigator services, large corporations are also hiring more detectives in response to skyrocketing computer and smartphone use. More human resources issues are citing inappropriate texts and emails at the heart of the problem. Private investigators — especially those focusing in computer and digital forensics — can often retrieve deleted or encrypted data to get to the bottom of these issues.
What does a private investigator do? The answer to that question is that it constantly changes. Although some continue searching paper records and conducting traditional surveillance, modern detectives are much more likely to do the majority of their investigating on a computer. Helpful sites.