Thursday, May 20, 2010

Ask a PI Week

Yes, Dear Readers, our operators are standing by for our first official Ask a PI * week.

That's right, you can submit the questions that you've always wanted to ask a PI and one of our trained monkeys investigators will get back to you. If we don't know the answer, we'll just make it up. For free.

Don't delay, this offer expires soon.

* Nothing in the answers we provide constitutes actual advice, legal or otherwise, and we cannot be held liable for anything stupid you may do as a result. By posting a question, you indemnify us against all claims for damages arising from mockery, hurt feelings, and/or reckless stupidity. You also signify your acceptance that your question may be posted in its entirety, or otherwise edited for clarity or comedic value.


  1. Having just seen a news story where a New South Wales Minister was filmed leaving a strip club (or brothel, not quite sure as I only saw the story in passing) on the night of a major highway accident - what restrictions do you actually face on the collection of information in a public place?

  2. Unlike in Australia (or in fact in any other part of the world), PIs here are not permitted to photograph or videotape anyone without their prior written consent, irrespective of whether said individual is in a public place or not.

    No shit.

    Of course that's never going to happen. To make things even worse we are unable to use video or photographs given to us by another party, again, without the prior consent of the individual concerned.

    Let's say a family member is missing and you want our assistance in locating them. We technically cannot accept a photograph of that person for identification purposes. How stupid is that?

    Thankfully, the law on this is about to be changed and finally, after 36 years, PIs here will be able to film away to their heart's content although within the limitations that equally apply to others.

    But to get back to your question, an interesting issue is that of the 'reasonable expectation of privacy' even in a public place, which was one of the areas our Office of the Privacy Commissioner touched upon in a submission in 2009.

    They stated: "While in many circumstances the reasonable expectations of privacy in public places will necessarily be diminished, the tort should not use the public place setting as some kind of hard edged exclusion zone."

    I think at the end of the day it is simpler that you just don't get caught doing anything you shouldn't.