You might have heard about ‘PigGate’. This is the story of an initiation ceremony at Oxford University, during which Prime Minister David Cameron supposedly put a ‘private part of his body’ into the mouth of a dead pig. It’s not for us to speculate how true the story is, but what’s clear is that the British public were both shocked and amused in equal measure once the story came to light.

Clearly, David Cameron would not have wanted the details of PigGate to become public knowledge if they were true. The information has been released because politician Michael Ashcroft published it in an unofficial and unauthorised David Cameron biography. The source of the information is an anonymous Oxford graduate.

Whilst the events of PigGate might not be day-to-day occurrences, this is a great chance to think about how permanent information is.

What’s in your past?

A vast majority of people will have a very innocent past, all things considered. Remember, though, that everything you do has the potential to become a memory – not just your memory, but the memory of someone else.

That time you tripped at school? Even if you’ve forgotten it, there might be someone that didn’t. The chances are that your fall will never get mentioned or thought about again, but if you were to become a renowned celebrity, would someone remember that moment? Could your seemingly forgettable fall be remembered and mentioned once again? The chances are slim, but anything is possible!

It’s important to remember that you make a mark on everyone you meet and that they can dig up bits of your past at any time. Don’t overthink it, but be aware of it. For a private investigator, that’s a very useful piece of information.

What do other people know?

When carrying out an investigation, a private investigator won’t necessarily just look to the most involved people. Often, it’s someone on the sideline that holds a crucial piece of information.

David Cameron wouldn’t have revealed the PigGate story even if it were true, and nor (most likely) would the people that he was closest to at university. Sometimes, the details are more likely to be found through an acquaintance, a passer-by or a casual witness.

If you’re hiring a private investigator, don’t discount any witness or source of information. A good PI knows that the most important piece of information can become known from an unexpected source.

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