Bloomberg CEO says client data access for reporters a mistake
By Lauren Tara LaCapra
May 11 (Reuters) - After reports that users of the company's financial terminals were investigating potential leaks of confidential information, Bloomberg LP CEO Daniel Doctoroff said that the company had made a "mistake" by giving journalists access to data on clients' terminal usage.
The financial information and news company sought to assure its customers that Bloomberg News journalists will no longer have any information about what users of its terminals are accessing.
Bloomberg, whose financial data terminals are widely used on Wall Street, had allowed journalists to see some information, including when customers had last logged in, and how often they used messaging or looked up data on broad categories - such as equities or bonds.
Doctoroff said in a statement on Friday that reporters, however, could not see which particular news stories clients read, or the specific securities they viewed.
Goldman Sachs flagged the matter to Bloomberg in April after a Bloomberg reporter in Hong Kong asked Goldman about a partner's employment status, noting that the person had not logged on in some time. Goldman argued that the information was sensitive and should not be seen by journalists.
"Having recognized this mistake, we took immediate action," Doctoroff said in the statement posted on Bloomberg's blog. "Last month we changed our policy so that all reporters only have access to the same customer relationship data available to our clients."
The questions about Bloomberg reporters' access have moved beyond Wall Street banks. The New York Times, citing people briefed on the matter, reported that banking regulators at the U.S. Federal Reserve are examining whether their own employees were subject to tracking by Bloomberg reporters. A Fed spokeswoman declined to comment.
Doctoroff said Bloomberg also created a new position of client data compliance officer to continue to ensure that its news operations never have access to confidential customer data. Continued...