Thursday, September 13, 2012

Modern-Day Private Investigators

According to Reporter News, the world of private investigation has changed considerably from the glamorized version on television.

The world of private investigations has shifted to that of a man following another around town and taking pictures to that of cyber investigations, background checks and getting police records.
Gone are the days of spy versus spy, covert operations and other adventures that created the mystique of the profession.
"That's the persona and its perception. It has nothing to do with reality," Havard said. "We have had too much TV, so if they're looking for somebody in a trench coat and a fedora hat, they're not going to find it."
Although investigations have fallen into the realm of the Web, true sleuths like Havard remain grounded in their experiences in the field, using that knowledge with the luxury of today's technology to get the job done right and at a much faster pace.
Many in the industry also are former cops.
There are many things the public still don't know about the techno world. For instance, Havard said the flashlight app on most cellphones — fills a cellphone screen with bright white light — can do wonders, but it also can harm the user as far as private information is concerned.
"The main one (flashlight app) is done by somebody in Russia. So once you put 'yes' on the disclaimer, he has all your background information," Havard explained. "When it says 'do you agree or do not agree,' well everybody agrees, and why? Because not too many people wants to read the fine print. If you ever read one of those disclaimers, it goes on there and says the provider can have all the history on your phone, all your contacts with all of their phone numbers and everything."
Private investigators who have developed a knack for high-tech probes often find themselves lecturing at law enforcement classes, even at the FBI headquarters in Virginia.

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