The Future of Private Investigations


The Future of Private Investigations

The world is changing and private investigators will have to change with it. Gone are the days of fretting partners engaging your services to stake out their cheating spouses from the car.

With social media and find my phone apps it’s harder than ever for the average cheater to get away with a clandestine affair.

As private investigator’s services morph to fit the changing marketplace, we’ll see more corporate clients, more background checks and a shift to remote surveillance. With technological advances there will be an increase in cyber security services and more time spent on tools and tech.

Here are some of the changes and technological advancements to look out for in the private investigations industry.

Corporate Clients

Corporate companies are getting increasingly serious about hiring the right candidates and background checks are a big part of that. There’s a push towards more extensive background checks in many larger industries.

Vetting potential candidates is becoming a full-time job for some human resources departments which is why it’s become another avenue for savvy private investigators looking to pick up ongoing contract work.

GPS Tracking Systems

While this technology is not new, it’s remained a mainstay in the tool kit of most private investigators. A GPS tracking system enables a PI to essentially maintain a tail on a suspect and track their whereabouts. The data collected by GPS trackers can go a long way to establishing or proving wrong doing while saving PIs valuable time and energy.


Private Investigators in the United States have been using drones since 2014, as a means of covertly capturing evidence to be used against insurance fraud claims or cheating spouses.

Drones provide a unique opportunity for private investigators to remove themselves physically from dangerous situations and remotely control and record photographic and video evidence in situations that might otherwise been either too difficult or too dangerous for them to enter in person.

Bug Detectors

Private investigators are usually the ones doing the bugging but sometimes a client will come to you if they are concerned that they are being watched. This is when a bug detector can come in handy. Most bugs use either Wi-fi or cellar networks to transmit their recordings.

Bug detectors pick up those transmission signals and for those bugs that aren’t transmitting back the bug detector can find the camera lens or power signal. Making them a powerful tool for private investigators.

Wireless listening devices

Private investigators use wireless listening devices to record and listen into private conversations that might provide evidence against someone for their client.

There are a lot of rules around using bugs such as this. If a client is the homeowner or resident they can give permission for the bug to be placed in their home without other members of the home knowing. However, with the perception and the laws it would be unlikely that a PI would actually put a recording device in a client’s home.

The laws around recording conversations are complex. In Australia we have the ‘one-party consent’ law which basically means at least one of the people being recorded in the conversation must know that they are being recorded and give their consent.

That being said wireless listening devices still have a part to play in investigations but this is best measured and moderated by a PI who can operate within the law.

Hidden Cameras

Everyone knows about nanny cams, cameras set up in secret in a toy to make sure your nanny or babysitter is doing what they are meant to. But the vast array of hidden cameras on the market now includes such innocuous items as pens, hidden body cameras, photo frames, books and even water bottles that you can actually drink out of.

The technology for hidden cameras and surveillance has come on in leaps and bounds in the last few years. Many of today’s hidden surveillance systems are imperceptible to the naked eye, able to record both sound and video and can be set to be motion sensor activated so you don’t have to dig through hours of footage to find what you’re looking for.

Mobile Device tools

There are small devices that can be plugged into mobile phones to retrieve data including deleted texts, internet and call history and files. So much of our lives is lived on our phones these days and that is why mobile device tools such as these data retrievers are an important piece of tech for private investigators.

Cyber Security

Cyber security is becoming a mammoth industry in Australia. Between 2017 and 2020 the Cyber Security Industry in Australia grew by 800 million dollars. The supply can’t meet the demand at the moment which is driving up the median wage and contract price for cyber security work.

As technology evolves for private investigators it makes sense to evolve with it. In cyber security there is a specific need for cyber investigations bringing the core work of investigations into the technical world. Cyber investigations is a fantastic future avenue for private investigators looking to diversify their offerings.

Are you considering an exciting career in private investigations? You can check out the course you need before you can apply for a licence here, or have a chat with one of our friendly course advisors.

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