Private investigations are a type of investigation conducted by a private investigator who is hired by an individual or company to gather information and evidence for various purposes. Private investigators can be hired to investigate a wide range of issues including infidelity, criminal defense, missing persons and background checks.
Private investigators typically use a variety of methods to gather information and evidence, including interviewing witnesses, conducting surveillance, and analyzing documents and other types of physical or digital evidence. They may also use specialized equipment such as cameras and recording devices to gather information.
Private investigations may be conducted for personal or legal reasons, and the results of the investigation may be used in a variety of contexts, such as in legal proceedings or in making personal or business decisions. Private investigators must comply with relevant laws and regulations in their work and are bound by confidentiality agreements to maintain the confidentiality of the information they collect.
Often private investigations are aimed at establishing the credibility of business partners, which is part of economic intelligence. A private investigator based on white intelligence (OSINT) obtains information from open sources and in the course of analysis determines the assets, sources of funding and honesty of people subjected to verification.
Analysis of publicly available information (OSINT)
OSINT, or Open-Source Intelligence, is the process of collecting and analyzing publicly available information from various sources to support decision-making, intelligence gathering, or other investigative activities. OSINT sources may include news articles, social media posts, websites, and other types of publicly available information.
OSINT is commonly used by law enforcement, intelligence agencies, and private investigators to gather information and evidence for a variety of purposes, including criminal investigations, background checks, and risk assessments. It can be an effective tool for gathering information that may not be available through other means, such as classified or proprietary sources.
OSINT practitioners use a variety of methods to collect and analyze information, including using search engines and social media platforms, conducting online searches and research, and using specialized software and tools to collect and analyze data. They may also work with other investigators or experts to verify and confirm the information they have collected.
Risk in operational activities
Collecting information and evidence in the field, rather than in an office or other controlled environment, can be conducted by law enforcement officers, private investigators, and other investigators. Such actions require knowledge and the ability to react to various unforeseen situations. There are many risks associated with operational activities and it depends on the experience of the investigator whether he will judge them in time and react to minimize them.
The most popular threats in the work of a private detective are directly related to the activities carried out. Among them there are e.g. physical and mental hazards. The investigator may be subjected to verbal and physical violence. Legal risks of inadvertently violating privacy, surveillance, or other laws and regulations. Emotional risks associated with sensitive or traumatic topics of the case.
Another form of risk that should always be considered by a private investigator when taking a case is the risk of being discovered while working undercover. Such a situation may pose a direct threat to the safety of the investigator and miss the opportunity for a positive conclusion of the investigation.
It is important that detectives working in the field are aware of these risks and take steps to mitigate them, for example by following proper protocols and procedures, seeking appropriate training and support, and taking the necessary precautions to protect their safety and the good of the investigation.