Social Media and Private Investigation
The use of social media and private investigation professionals has become a key part of formulating a strong litigation strategy. With a vast majority of Canadians using social media to post content online, social media investigations can obtain valuable evidence in a lawsuit.
Most people can access social media profiles from any mobile device and at no cost. However, being an avid social media user does not make you an investigative expert. In addition, there are many legal landmines that could potentially invalidate any evidence you are able to obtain.
When you work with PiPro private investigators, you have the support of a dedicated professional with decades of investigative and legal experience. We know how to obtain social media and internet information legally and ethically.
What is a social media investigation?
PiPro social media investigators specialize in identifying social media platforms and searching the internet for information about their subjects. Investigators will typically look at things like uploaded photos, conversations, status updates, and more.
A social media investigation can provide critical evidence in many scenarios including:
- Validating a witness or discounting a suspect’s statements.
- Find evidence that shows intent to commit a crime.
- Check-ins and uploaded file metadata that can confirm time and location of a person.
- Identification of a potential case witness.
- Revelation of a person’s character.
As you can see, you can never be sure of what you’ll find in a social media investigation. However, not conducting one is like turning a blind eye to a potential trove of critical evidence that can help your case.
Are social media investigators necessary?
When you talk about social media, sites like Facebook and Instagram quickly come to mind. In reality, however, there are hundreds of other social media sites used by people all over the world. If you’re thinking of going the DIY route, you’ll definitely have your work cut out for you.
In addition, jumping in blindly to conduct research and contact potential witnesses online can be a recipe for disaster. Remember, social media investigations may be a relatively new thing, but they are still based on long-standing ethical and legal principles.
Unless you’re a career lawyer or private investigator, you risk making amateur mistakes that can render your evidence inadmissible in a court of law.
Why you need a PiPro Social Media Investigator
PiPro private investigators have the experience and training on how to obtain a comprehensive set of data and information that the average person cannot. By using proven, legal techniques we can obtain information that is inline with federal and state laws.
Users have access to hundreds of social media platforms they can use to open accounts and publish their content. In addition, users can also set up multiple accounts under different aliases and robust privacy settings.
But what happens if the subject is NOT on social media? That’s not a problem either. PiPro experts can still use social media to look at the profiles of related persons that could also reveal useful info.
For an amateur, this can be a major headache but for a PiPro private investigator, it’s just another day at the office.
PiPro investigators use powerful software and databases to make their online search quicker and more effective. In addition, professional investigators refine their search techniques and instincts through years of training and experience.
Obtain evidence ethically and legally
When conducting a social media investigation, it can be easy to step on the wrong side of the law. It’s important to note that many social media users have privacy settings that restrict access to the content they post online.
Further, some states explicitly forbid the use of illegally obtained evidence by the use of an electronic device. This means that things like sending a friend request in order to gain account access in a deceitful manner is strictly prohibited.
Professional licensed investigators obtain permission to conduct targeted investigations that are proportionate to the case under investigation.
Authenticating social media evidence
A social media investigation is not about taking screenshots of a person’s timeline and trying to use it as evidence in court. And by the way, screenshots are actually inadmissible in court.
In order to be admissible in court, the evidence obtained from social media must include additional corroboration to link the printouts to the subject under investigation. This means collecting important info like metadata and MD5 hash values.
In addition, a PiPro private investigator is well-versed in the requirements of probability and the level of searching that is permitted. Other important considerations include the protocols surrounding friending and following.
At PiPro private investigations we use technology as a way to collect evidence and data in an ethical and legal manner. If you have questions on how a social media investigation can help your case, get in touch with us today at: 416-912-7755 or by email at: firstname.lastname@example.org.