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Can Private Investigators Use Information on Social Media in Connecticut?

private investigator connecticut social media

Are you planning on hiring a private investigator? If so, you should know that private investigators are professionals who excel at finding information, whether it concerns your spouse, a business rival or a separate third party. Attorneys, insurance claims adjusters, employers, human resources managers, parents, employees, landlords and people who use dating sites may all have reasons for requesting social media investigations from Connecticut private investigators. But is that legal? If you would like the answer to that question, please read on, then contact our Connecticut private investigation team today.

Can Connecticut private investigators legally use information gleaned from social media sites?

The Stored Communications Act prohibits law enforcement and private investigators from bridging the privacy of stored internet communications. Facebook, Instagram and other social media sites have often cited this act when officials make a request for social media data. In short, private investigators can’t obtain protected information without consent. If someone has locked down their social media account and, thus, restricted most information, the private investigator can’t legally obtain phone records or data from:

  • Social media networking sites’ posts
  • Photos
  • Google and other search engines

However, if the private investigator is working for an official investigation, such as for a respectable lawyer, rather than a direct client, he or she may have recourse to ask a judge for a warrant, subpoena or other court order. To succeed, they will need to demonstrate a sufficient likelihood that a social media account holds pertinent information.

How useful are social media accounts for private investigations?

Statistics show that more than eighty-one percent of United States residents use social media sites regularly. Up to seventy-nine percent of adults in the United States use Facebook almost every day. Around the world, over three billion people use social media. Considering the sheer volume of the available data pool, it is all the more important that private investigators do not limit their areas of investigation to traditional means.

How does a Connecticut private investigator use data from social media?

Depending on the scope of the investigation, the time that one needs to perform a social media investigation will vary. In most cases, conducting a social media investigation takes several hours and once completed, the investigator will create a report that documents their findings within a day or two. As long as the private investigator obtained it legally, this evidence could corroborate or contradict a subject’s testimony through:

  • Comments
  • Location data, i.e. check-ins
  • Tags from friends and family
  • Shopping history
  • Behavioral history

For a full breakdown of the ways that a thorough, lawful search of one’s social media accounts can aid in your investigation, speak with one of our skilled Connecticut private detectives soon.

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