Insurers use spy gadgets to snoop on fraudsters
Private investigators are using vehicle-tracking devices to carry out illegal surveillance on insurance customers suspected of making fraudulent claims.
The investigators, also known as 'tracing agents', are themselves being investigated for placing spy equipment underneath cars belonging to unsuspecting policy holders.
The shocking scale of the covert surveillance being used by private investigators is laid bare for the first time today.
Intelligence received by the new investigations unit in the Data Protection Commission also reveals insurance firms are handing over medical or consultants' reports to private firms they pay to spy on customers.
Banks, local authorities and law firms have also joined the list of organisations availing of the services of private investigators, some of whom use illegal tactics to obtain personal data.
The revelations come two years after the Irish Independent revealed dozens of the country's credit unions had hired private investigators, who in turn had used false identities to illicit data from State agencies.