Private Eyes are Professionals
Becoming your own private eye has a lot of perks. For example, if you go solo you are free to either accept or reject any given assignment from anyone, not to mention the potential to earn big bucks on an hourly basis doing even just some online sleuthing. However, being a private eye is not without ethical standards to follow.
It’s best for private eyes to become members of PI associations. Becoming a member of associations and other organizations binds your profession in a regulating body, making you a more credible choice for clients. Certain associations have their own code of ethics such as the one being upheld by the World Association of Professional Investigators (WAPI). Their code of ethics involve:
- Upholding integrity in all investigations, without crossing legal, professional, and moral boundaries.
- Making sure that clients understand that the information they provide should be used for legal purposes only.
- Requiring everyone involved in investigations to abide by the company’s own code of ethics.
- Having an agent or employee work on a task that are qualified to do.
- Consulting WAPI’s governing body should any matter of conflict arise in any investigation.
- Taking their positions as agent highly. Misrepresentation and exaggeration of their duties and activities are not tolerated.
- Protecting all the members, clients, and WAPI itself at all times.
- Employing discretion, courtesy, and confidentiality in all their professional undertakings.
- Accepting a client regardless of race, colour, religion, sex, handicap, sexual preference, or national origin.
- Following regulatory and legal requirements that come with the job.
A private investigator’s ultimate aim in serving is the interest of clients, not his own. However, there are certain things that a private investigator cannot do, even if it’s the client’s wish, such as putting a person’s safety on the line, intruding a person’s privacy and hacking a person’s credit card which are all a contravention of the Data Protection Act (in the case of the UK).
So hold your horses, ladies and gentlemen. Though the prospect of becoming a private eye is tantalizing, some of the ethical standards should be carefully considered or you won’t last a moment if do your own thing outside the private eye’s professional standards.