If you needed to locate someone, what's the ideal information you need to start?
Usually, this what I tell people: if you want to find someone, I need the name with the exact spelling, the DOB if you know it, the social security number (which generally people don’t know unless it’s family), and a last known, official address where they’ve lived within the past 15 years. Because that means they’ll be in our database. And that info alone can often lead me to the guy right in one of the databases, and it’s done right there. "Ok, now he lives in Hoboken, New Jersey—here’s his address."
These informational databases sound insane, how do you get access to them? Well you have to be a licensed PI, and they have to review your information. You have to swear you know all the relevant privacy acts, and you won't violate them. Most of them, every time you log in and look for information, you need to click on boxes confirming you know the privacy laws. You know, every time you log on you are confirming you are using them the right way. The client has to have legitimate reasons for looking people up. They have to document their reasons and send them to me. They could be lying, of course, but you get as much official info as you can (legal docs, court papers) and trust them as much as you can.