A few things I want to touch on such as drones, GPS laws, and the digital age of private investigation something stands out in my mind beyond all else.
The more things change, the more they stay the same.
Unfortunately, there will always be a need to go out to catch the cheating spouse or the guy faking an injury on an insurance claim. There will always be a need to find missing people and collect witness statements for cases. I feel that a big dynamic shift is happening in the private investigation field, where there is certainly a lot of promise in digital forensics for example or the drone surveillance capability that a few PI's already claim to have. Some say that the old gumshoe type work is going away, but I beg to differ.
There is so many aspects to private investigation which is one of the many reasons I love it so much. You can pick almost any field of investigation from surveillance to digital forensics and really take it above and beyond. It truly fascinates me. I'm seeing a lot of newer companies start to take a shift over to digital forensics and to be honest I think there is a lot of money there. Having access to someone's phone in today's world would be like peering into their personal life. I wrote another article about how the cell phone number is starting to replace the social security number in means of being an general identifier of people.
Drones on the other hand are a pretty hot topic. I think in the insurance investigation side there is a lot of applicability in the use of drones to capture crash scenes from multiple angles. I can already imagine an investigator coming to a crash to let his drone do a loop for video surveillance just to moments later get delivered to an insurance company. I'm not sure where I heard it, but I also think there is an app that is upcoming for insurance private investigators where PI's can sign up and get assigned work based on a round robin type system. Might have heard that on the American PI Podcast. Lots of good content on there, always enjoy giving that show a listen.
I can also imagine that some states in the future would impose GPS laws that may hurt private investigation depending on how restrictive it is. If it doesn't touch the profession then PI's may be safe to continue on but that all depends on legislation in the particular state. While I am confident there will be some PI's out there that will still continue to do it regardless.
I would like to see a stronger enforcement of ethical standards. Long story short, it wasn't long ago I had a client that was promised they could get bank records without any legal means of doing so. In which I cautioned the client not to get caught up in illegal activity. Certainly there is a population of PI's out there that decide to be unethical for whatever reason (money, keep clients happy, etc). Not to mention people that practice PI without a license. Which I would expect some form of strict penalty on unprofessional practice as it hurts the entire industry.
There is plenty of obstacles PI's have to face with getting a bad rap to begin with.
So where do you think the private investigation field is going in the next 10 years?