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Covert Surveillance and Social Media: From Big Brother to Love Island - Robert Hunter, Devereux Chambers

21/07/17. Rather like reality television, covert surveillance feels as though it has been around for a long time.

Although several of the leading cases were decided in the early noughties, some old issues have received recent airtime.

This paper will review the current legal landscape and tactical issues before asking: how much has changed?

What’s New?

Various claims databases have been available to insurers for decades. Other counter-fraud membership forums are more recent innovations.

Over the last decade, a more active form of investigation known as claimant profiling has become ubiquitous. In essence, claimant profiling is screening by desktop: it is a means of deciding whether to undertake further enquiries without, at that stage, leaving the office.

If further investigations are commissioned then there are a large number of companies now offering covert surveillance services. A basic surveillance package can be obtained for as little as £2,000, or less.

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Documents are defined in CPR 31.4 as “anything in which information of any description is recorded”. As such...

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