Private Investigator Code of Ethics
Historically, the use of certain investigative techniques has faced intense public scrutiny as well as legal and privacy challenges. In certain cases, investigative practices and technological advances have outpaced legal standards, leaving private investigators and their clients with difficult moral, ethical and privacy decisions. In recent years, the use of some techniques (e.g. use of banking and credit information, reliance on GPS tracking devices, “pretexting” to obtain information, doxing, etc.) has found investigators thrust into an ethical gray area.
As private investigators, it is our obligation to pursue our clients’ legitimate interests within the bounds of the law, our professional ethics, and our moral values. Even a hint of unscrupulous behavior is not worth undermining our clients’ interests, our reputation or license. To this end, we will strive to promote the highest ethical, moral and legal standards in the investigative profession. We will promote these standards and the general sharing of ideas with our employees and colleagues in the field in order to improve the overall competence and effectiveness of the profession.
We agree to the following seven principles to guide our daily business operations:
1. Professional Standards
We will adhere to these ethical and moral standards and follow the laws and regulatory requirements of the jurisdictions in which we work. We expect our employees and subcontractors to follow these same ethical and legal guidelines.
2. Licensing & Insurance
We will maintain a license and/or business registration with the appropriate agencies where we are located. We will maintain professional liability insurance to protect ourselves, our employees and our clients.
3. Scope of Work
We will only accept cases in which we have an appropriate level of expertise required to conduct the investigation. We reserve the right to refuse work that may be driven by questionable motives or that could otherwise call into question our character, morals or professional license. We will not misrepresent ourselves in order to solicit private, intimate or confidential information.
We will not knowingly accept any assignments which can be construed in any way as self-serving or a conflict of interest with our business or other assignments.
We will not disclose any confidential information without the consent of our clients, unless required by law or court order.
6. Fees & Results
We will bill at a reasonable fee, which is mutually agreed upon and can be adequately explained. We will not work on a contingency fee. We offer no guarantees as to the result or outcome of our investigation.
Our findings will be presented in an unbiased and fact-based manner. We will not provide any determination of guilt or innocence and we will not omit any material information.