How Technology Has Shaped the Private Investigation Industry

Depending on your perspective, technology has either greatly helped or hindered the private investigation industry. There’s no doubt that technology has reshaped the way we gather and disseminate knowledge, and the majority of our actions are memorialized in digital form, somewhere, somehow. And that’s how technology has shaped the private investigation industry, spelling pay dirt for PIs looking for rock-solid evidence.

On the other hand, data may not be as readily available as we may think, thereby making the process of finding and collecting evidence more difficult than ever.

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Technology helps private investigators gather information

PI digital technology screen on the eye

Most lifestyles today involve the use of technology. In fact, the vast majority of people incorporate modern technology into their lives on a daily basis.

For example, people conduct more of their lives online than ever before. We pay our bills online; we communicate with others online and through email; and we update friends and family of our activities, interests, and actions on a near-daily basis through social media. 

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The more we continue to live our lives online, the deeper or more extensive our digital footprint. And that’s always good news for private investigators because the use of surveillance technology has never been more prominent in any field than for investigative and security purposes! 

This might make you wonder how technology has shaped the Private Investigation Industry and here are some of the eye-opening facts that you might want to pay heeds to:

The U.S. video surveillance market size was worth $8.29 billion in 2019 and is projected to reach around $23.60 billion by 2027, thereby registering a CAGR of 13.9% from 2020 to 2027.

Surveillance camera with digital world

In 2023, the video surveillance market is projected to be worth 62.6 billion U.S. dollars,  with recent infrastructure applications forecast to make up over 36% of the global market.

Beyond what we choose to do, more public records are now available in digital format, making the process of finding a wealth of information about anyone as simple as a Google search on a public records database. From criminal records to court filings to cell phone numbers and tax information, gathering information on people has become quite easy to do.

Technology makes it more difficult for investigators to gather information

Just as technology has created a digital, online society, a number of new laws and regulations have made accessing data more difficult. Privacy laws, in particular, have been passed in recent years, thereby making the process of finding information about an individual’s credit score or health information nearly impossible. 

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Ever since technology has made a foray into the workplace environment, the laws have become more stringent pertaining to the privacy and security laws of an individual. This is why there are stringent policies, laws, and regulations that govern the surveillance investigation conducted by private investigators. 

Stricter privacy laws and data breach laws are now governing the availability of personal information, thereby making the job of a private investigator more challenging.