Can Your Phone Be Tracked by a Private Investigator?

Private investigators use a variety of instruments, including cell phones, to track down information. These let private investigators follow mobile numbers in order to monitor their targets’ movements. One consideration is that the use of spyware might not always be permitted.

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For both in-person and online private investigation projects, cell phone tracking is a frequently requested feature. The usage of a cell phone can be tracked using a number of different technologies. However, using these technologies is typically prohibited by law, and in some cases, they may require close proximity to the phone in question.

This blog explores several methods for monitoring smartphone usage and finds the owner of the device. When the situation warrants it, we regularly suggest GPS tracking to our clients. Any variation is always the most common response to this proposition.

Is It Allowable?

To that, the response is in the affirmative. But you should be aware that there are some situations in which it is acceptable. If you want to track a phone, you need to make sure you meet the requirements.

Is It Allowed to Track GPS?

Finding out if GPS tracking is permitted in the UK would be of interest to a responsible citizen. In actuality, there are several circumstances in which GPS tracking is prohibited. However, there are a few situations where it is acceptable to put a GPS tracker on a car. The laws controlling GPS tracking are complicated (and murky in some cases). Usually, before we can respond to a question, we need to have our own questions answered (Who? What? Where, when, how, and why.

We’ll go over some of the inquiries we make of a client prior to installing a GPS tracker on their car as part of a case. Next, we’ll go over some scenarios in which installing a GPS tracker on a car might be acceptable, when it might not be legal at all, and when you should have a licensed private investigator do it.


A common aspect of surveillance is watching someone without their knowledge to see where they go and what they do. Private investigators will report the findings to the client. Effective surveillance techniques are some of the things that private investigators learn in criminal justice classes.

By enhancing a private investigator’s ability to gather and record crucial information, technology has become an indispensable tool for accomplishing tasks in nearly all circumstances.


Private eye observers had to observe from a distance and occasionally gather images or videos as part of the in-person surveillance process. GPS trackers have made it possible for detectives to finish their work without having to wait or follow their targets in person.


It’s hardly surprising that private investigators use GPS tracking devices to keep an eye on their clients while they’re at work, given the increasing levels of hostility and fear in society as evidenced by the rise in gun violence. It gives private investigators the security they need and the data they were hired to collect.


Moreover, GPS devices save private investigators a lot of time by enabling them to multitask and complete other tasks while conducting surveillance. Moreover, GPS devices can be configured to activate and transmit a signal only when they are in a specific location.

Are You Aware That Private Investigators Can Follow Your Cell Phone?

Since some clients are unsure about the distinction between tracking and tracing, we will start by addressing this one. PIs are able to trace a mobile number, meaning they can determine the owner of the number and their residence. The term “tracking a number” describes keeping an eye on the phone activities someone uses with a particular SIM card. We’re not able to do this generally.

Information about masts and phone records is protected data. This information is only accessible to your service provider and law enforcement. For the police to examine this data, they too must have a valid reason. To receive this information from the service provider, they also need to have the necessary warrants.

Can a Private Investigator Find a Phone’s Location?

If you are the owner of the phone, then a private investigator can locate it. GPS software is used in mobile phone tracking to track a person’s movements. You’re probably familiar with Apple’s Find My iPhone, which is an example of this type of program. These applications obtain up-to-date satellite information regarding the phone’s global location.

Installing software on someone else’s phone without their permission would be against the law, so a private investigator is unable to track their whereabouts. Nobody can track a phone’s location without the software—not even emergency services and service providers can.

Can a Private Investigator Find a Phone’s Owner?

Yes, private investigators can locate a phone’s owner in certain situations. We can track (?track?) the whereabouts of a mobile number owner by tracing their number, identifying the phone’s owner, and conducting surveillance.

We’ve already mentioned that using a person’s phone number alone won’t allow us to directly monitor them. Our access to data is restricted to publicly available and consensual sources, as we hold a private investigator license. This gives us the ability to track the owner of a phone.

What Content Can a Private Investigator See in a Message?

Not at all, please. We are not allowed to look at the contents of messages unless they belong to you and you grant us permission to view them. This covers voicemail, call records, message contents, and chat recordings. Furthermore, end-to-end encryption is used by numerous messaging services, including Telegram, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and many more. This implies that if you didn’t have physical access to your phone, nobody could see the contents of your messages—not even the messaging services themselves.

Voicemail hacking of individuals of interest and their relatives was revealed to have been carried out by a number of private investigators employed by The News of the World in the early 2010s. The legal repercussions of these rogue operators’ acts are still being felt today.

When investigative services advertise that they will do this, it means they are willing to break the law. This type of investigator shows a poor and careless attitude toward investigative ethics, so we would advise everyone to avoid them.