Down Under Investigations – The Truth

Facial Recognition, Free Skip Trace Websites, Duty Of Care & Problematic Process Serving

October 12, 2022 Down Under Investigations Season 2 Episode 1
Down Under Investigations – The Truth
Facial Recognition, Free Skip Trace Websites, Duty Of Care & Problematic Process Serving
Show Notes Transcript

In this episode we cover topics such as:-

1- Facial Recognition and Privacy Issues;

2- Top 5 FREE websites to help you skip trace and locate a person;

3- Duty of Care issues regarding Private Investigation;

4- Problematic Process Serving. 

Got a question for our podcast or do you need to contact Simon and the Down Under Investigations team? Simply email info@downunderinvestigations.com or call 1300849007 or check out www.downunderinvestigations.com

Speaker 1:

Welcome to another episode of Down Under Investigations the Truth. Our host, Simon, has over 20 years experience in the private investigation industry, and he leads the team at down under investigations who pride themselves on their professionalism, integrity, and ability to get results. This podcast will open up the world of private investigations, discussing real life cases, latest news, surveillance, and skip tracing techniques, legal issues and support. Let's jump in and join Simon now.

Speaker 2:

Hi, Simon here. We're so excited that you've just decided to join us with our podcast. We've relaunched down under Investigations the truth, so make sure you subscribe, share, do whatever you can. Send us a rating, a review, do whatever you can to get the word about this podcast out there. Let's get on with the show. Bunnings and Kmart have been forced to halt the use of facial recognition technology in their stores. The Privacy Wash Dog is investigating use of cameras to capture facial recognition technology in stores across Australia. Consumer Group Choice revealed that Bunnings and Kmart were using the technology, which basically captures the image of people's faces from video cameras as a unique face print that is then stored and compared to other face prints so that companies can see who's moving between their stores. They say in order to reduce theft, B by staff and also by patrons. So they're being investigated now by the office of the Australian Information Commissioner over the use of the technology and whether it's consistent with privacy laws. Bunning's managing director has confirmed the report and said that they've stopped using the technology. They accuse choice though of mischaracterizing the issue saying that the technology was only to be used when it's detecting a person who's been banned from a store and not just on every, every customer who enters the store. He said, When we have customers berate our team, pull weapons, spit or throw punches, we ban them from our stores. But a band isn't effective if it's hard to enforce. Facial recognition gives us a chance to identify when a band person enters the store so we can support our team to handle the situation before it escalates. He said regular customers did not have their images retained in the system. Technology, however, needs to scan the face of every customer entering the store to check against their database of band Customers. Spokesman for Kmart also confirmed that they had ceased using the technology recently. They've temporarily stopped using the technology in our small number of trial stores. Given the commencement of the O A I C investigation, Kmart believes the use of technology for preventing criminal activity such as refund fraud is appropriate and subject to strict controls choices. Customer data advocate, Kate Bauer, welcome the decisions, but said the technology should be stopped permanently. Choice eagerly awaits the information Commission's decision on whether Kmart and Bunnings have breached the Privacy Act in the use of facial recognition technology. This will be benchmark that will decide the use of the controversial facial recognition technology in Australia going forward. 17. Retail chains have told choice this week that they don't use the technology in their stores and have no plan to introduce it. Those retailers include Woolworth's, Kohl's, Audi, Target, Big W Meyer, David Jones, Dan Murphy, bws, Fiji Sellers, Liquorland, Rebel, and Office Works. The good guys also earlier paused its use of the technology after preliminary inquiries and said at the time that the good guys take the confidentiality and personal information extremely seriously and remains confident that the trial complied with the applicable laws. I guess we've just gotta wait and see what happens with this OOI I c investigation. See what they say because this'll be an interesting law moving forward. Do you believe that someone should be able to take your image when you enter a store, maybe when you're going to a sports game or or other activity? Are they able to take your image and keep a copy of your image on file? I dunno about you, but if it's about the safety of patrons and customers, it sounds good, but we've just gotta be careful and wary on what that information can also be used for and whose hands hold that information. It's that time of the podcast where we talk about our top five list this week. It's the top five completely free websites that anyone can access in order to skip, trace or to locate a person and best how to use them. The first one I'm gonna talk about, number one is social media, which includes your Facebook, Instagram, your TikTok, your Twitter, even your MySpace, all your social media accounts. Um, searching those accounts. You can find out so much information about a person and often you may not even find that person on there, but you can find information about their family, about their friends. You can find names of different people that they're associated with, and these all help when you're trying to skip trace someone because you can put those, that information together and find where this person's associating, where they attend, what, what do they do for work? What do they do, uh, for their hobbies? Where do they spend their time? What gym do they go to? Those sorts of things are so handy when it comes to skip tracing. So top five, number one is social media accounts. Number two, Google. Google is a great source still of information and if you learn how to use Google properly and how to search for names, places, phone numbers, et cetera, there's so much information you can find about a person that helps you get a good skip trace. Number three, the ABN lookup, which is ab.business.gov.au. There's lots of information on there about a person and persons if they have an abn. You can sometimes get addresses, you can get different company names, get different suburbs, different bits of information, which you can then all pull together with your other searches to be able to locate someone. That's the third one, the ABN look. Site number four is a simple white pages search, looking on white pages. It's as old as the hills, the old white pages, but it can still get you some good results. You can find people on there, you can find where they live. You can find phone numbers, You can find other people with the same surname, especially if they don't have a common surname. You can find auntie's, uncles, cousins. There's lots of information out there on White Pages, which you can still find. White pages online is great. You don't have to have the old phone book. I don't even know if they still print it. And the fifth one that's completely free is a website called ancestry.com. So if you are looking for someone, it's great to be able to find their family, their friends. Um, this one you will get family, you'll get parents, you'll get siblings, you'll get kids. Um, ancestry.com au is a great way to find information, find correct spellings of names, find middle names, all sorts of things that you can put together to get a successful skip trace. So there are top five completely free websites anyone can access in order to do a skip trace or to find a person. So social media two Google three ABN lookup, four white pages and five ancestry.com au.

Speaker 1:

Got a question for Simon and down under investigations, we are running a questions of the month competition. If your question gets answered by Simon, we will send you a prize valued at a hundred dollars. To ask your question, simply use the contact page on our website at www.downunderinvestigations.comoremailpodcastsdownunderinvestigations.com.

Speaker 2:

We've got a great question here on TikTok from Alicia. She said, Would you continue to follow someone if you realize that person hiring you is violent and doing it for harassment purposes? Alicia, there's no way we would continue an investigation if we knew a client was harassing or abusing or there was an intervention order. We only act for clients with, uh, good intention. Uh, we like to do a little bit of a background on our clients. We've done it extensively on some occasions just because we weren't quite sure why the client wanted us to find out information about a person. It just wasn't clear. They were not telling us everything. They weren't letting us know all the details. So we decided to do a bit of a background search. And, uh, sometimes we find nothing when we do the background search. Sometimes we find a bit of information, but sometimes there is occasion where there is an intervention order in place. And, uh, we will straightaway get into contact with police if we find out that we've been contacted in that regard. It's only happened once in the last, uh, I guess 20 years that I've been involved with investigations, but we've got a duty of care to our clients, to the people. We're also targeting the person that we're following. For example, if there was a domestic violence situation and they'd moved on, didn't know the new address. There's a reason that sometimes people don't want to be found, and we totally understand that. So we're very careful when we disclose information. We're very careful when we take on a client and take on a role. You can imagine that in our profession, we do deal with all sorts of people and we deal with humans in real lives. When we deal with real lives, we, we have to take into account that these people have feelings, they have emotions, they have families, they have friends associates, they have outcomes, they have jobs. There's a lot at risk, there's a lot on the line when we are investigating someone and the effects that that investigation can have on someone. So we always like to be aware of what we're doing the investigation for and obviously who we're doing the investigation for. I mean, there's been situations where we've also had to take into account the duty of care for a client and how a client's gonna respond in a situation. So generally, if it's a cheating situation where sitting down with a client who's just found out that their partners cheated on them, we like to be very prepared for those situations because as you can imagine, we never know how that person is gonna react. We never know how that person is gonna respond to finding out, maybe for the first time having it confirmed that their partner has been cheating. And you know, that relationship is basically dead in the water and they've been deceived for so long. So we have to take into account those things. So we like to know when we talk to a client and, and disclose that information, that they've got a support network around them, that they've got friends or family or people close that they can talk to. We want to know what their next step's gonna be because you can imagine some people would be excited or happy or very relieved to find out information about their partner, um, in terms of cheating because it gives them closure. But then there's other people that for the first time they're, they're coming to groups with that and they, they will have all sorts of feelings and emotions. They will have feelings of despair and heartache and pain, and we want to know that they're not gonna go out and do something silly to themselves or to someone else. I mean, there's no way of guaranteeing that. But we do what we can as far as a duty of care to make sure that someone's told in the right way, in the right circumstances, the truth about a relationship. If it does come to that. We're not trained counselors, of course, we're not. Uh, I guess you wouldn't say we're not experts in relationships as such or even the human response, but in the years that we've, uh, been involved with surveillance and cheating partners, we've found some of the signs to look for. Um, we're not saying we're, we're a hundred percent the expert in reading human behavior. We leave that for, you know, Dr. Phils of this world. But we have gathered information and, and a sense over years of doing this on how a client may or may not respond in a situation. So we just need to always remember that duty of care is so important, um, to the person we're following as well, whether this information is gonna be, um, devastating to them and, and how that's gonna play out. So duty of care is a huge issue and uh, thanks Alicia for that question. We obviously do what we can to make sure that we're one, operating in the bounds of the law, and two, that we have it extreme duty of care to everyone that we are dealing with, whether that's the person we're following or our client or their close associates or family. Often, um, the person we're following has kids. We don't wanna expose children to things they don't need to be exposed to in regards to what their parents might be up to. So yeah, I hope that answers your question, Alicia. Dunno if you've seen the movie from 2002. It's called Serving Sarah. It's got, uh, Matthew Perry, who's from Friends Chandler, um, as a process server in the movie. He has to serve the character played by Elizabeth Hurley. Good on Liz Hurley with some divorce papers and, uh, goes to extreme lengths and lots of things happen and they end up becoming friends and they end up in some sort of weird relationship. And, um, sort of got me thinking about process serving and some of the exciting and, uh, interesting cases that we've had. One of the best ones, uh, I can think of was in my younger years where we had a gentleman we needed to serve who was highly evasive. He, um, had had police knocking on his door. He would never answer. He'd had the sheriff turning up, wanting to discuss matters of his, uh, financial failings with him. And he was avoiding everyone. He had just ways and means about him of just not being able to get served in, in fact, no one really knew where he lived or cuz he was an aloof kind of character. So we got the task of serving him with some pa they were out of the county core and they were worth hundreds of thousands of dollars in terms of a debt that had gone unpaid. So we tracked him down a bit of a skip trace, did a bit of background on him because we knew that this may turn either weird or nasty or, you know, there was just something odd about this character. And, um, so in that background, yeah, we found out all the previous information I shared and we had to come up with a plan to get this guy because he had avoided other process servers as well who had tried to serve him with similar papers. So we sat down, we talked about it as a team and we worked out, the best scenario was to actually get the services of a pizza delivery company and use them as a bit of a decoy. So what we did is we contacted his local pizza shop, ordered a pizza for him, and he had locked gates high fences, and there was no way anyone could just jump the fence and get into the property. Um, there was no way he was gonna come to the door unless he knew who the person was. He wouldn't even talk on the intercom. We'd had tried and failed, but this pizza delivery company, we knew that they would be able to get to the front door because you know what, when you, uh, play with someone's greedy nature, um, they often buy it. And, uh, probably the mysterious nature of this random pizza that turned up at his door, he decided to let this pizza boy in, opened the gate for him as in through the, uh, you know, using his remote system. Let the pizza boy in the pizza boy got followed by one of our agents straight to the door. This, uh, fellow answered the door, looked at the pizza boy and said, Oh, I didn't order any pizza, but went to take it off him. Anyway, as he did, our team member launched over, dropped the documents on top of the pizza box in front of the gentleman, looked him in the eye, told him he'd been served, told him what he'd been served with, and we got the job done. One of those ones that sort of stands out is, uh, pretty odd, but some of the lengths you gotta go to with, uh, the evasive nature of people these days. We come across them all the time. People who just refuse service or think that they're refusing service because they say to you, Well, no, I didn't take it from your hand. Well then I haven't been served. Well, if you knew the law, you'd understand that if you are made aware of the documents and they're placed in your presence, then you have been served according to the law. So, you know what the, this was just one off. Uh, we've got many other times where we've had some fun with process serving somewhere. We've had to drop it in a car window as they've sped off and things like that where people avoid service or try to avoid service. But at the end of the day, we get them in the long run every single time.

Speaker 1:

We would love if you would review and subscribe to this podcast and also check out our social media. If you would like to get in touch with Simon and the down under investigation team for any reason, please check out our website at www.downunderinvestigations.comorcallonethreehundredeightfournineohsevenoremailinfodownunderinvestigations.com. Thanks for listening.