The Parliamentary Home Affairs Select Committee has demanded that the Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA) hand over the names of more than 100 companies that have employed the rogue investigators.
Most of the firms are insurance companies who task the private detectives in tracking down false claims.
The MPs claim in hundreds of cases, these investigators have broken the rules by stealing confidential information from mobile phones and computers.
And while insurance firms can well justify that catching claims cheats saves honest customers a fortune, undoubtedly many of those honest customers have unknowingly been subject of illegal investigations as well.
So far, SOCA has refused to hand over the information, but the committee chairman Keith Vaz argues that the police were eager to bring errant journalists who hacked phones for stories to book and they should show the same determination in naming and shaming companies who break the same laws.
If the list is not published by the police on September 6, the committee will publish a confidential copy handed to them on Monday, September 9, 2013.
“The committee has taken the view that this list should be published,’ he said. ‘We would like you to publish the list. We see nothing wrong with you publishing the list,” Vaz has told police.
“We know it has gone to the Metropolitan Police and we know they have removed the names that are subject to criminal investigation.
“We give you until Monday to publish this list, if you fail to publish it on Monday, we will publish it because we think it is in the public interest to do so. We’ve taken legal advice.”
The list is believed to include 22 law firms and a number of leading insurance companies.