Friday, May 10, 2013

Bloomberg News Spying on Goldman Sachs Employees

NyPo reports:
Irked Goldman Sachs brass recently confronted Bloomberg LP over concerns reporters at the business news service have been using the company’s ubiquitous terminals to keep tabs on some employees of the Wall Street bank, The Post has learned.

The ability to snoop on Bloomberg terminal users came to light recently when Goldman officials learned that at least one reporter at the news service had access to a wide array of information about customer usage, sources said.

In one instance, a Bloomberg reporter asked a Goldman executive if a partner at the bank had recently left the firm — noting casually that he hadn’t logged into his Bloomberg terminal in some time, sources added.

Goldman later learned that Bloomberg staffers could determine not only which of its employees had logged into Bloomberg’s proprietary terminals but how many times they had used particular functions, insiders said.

The matter raised serious concerns for the firm about how secure information exchanged through the terminals within the firm actually was — and if the privacy of their business strategy had been compromised.

“You can basically see how many times someone has looked up news stories or if they used their messaging functions,” said one Goldman insider.

“It made us think, ‘Well, what else does [Bloomberg] have access to?,' ” the insider said.

Although this is private sector stuff, it shows you the dangers of data collection, and no one collects more data than  the government. The data can be used for all sorts of nefarious reasons,though, at least in the private sector you can opt out the technologies that result in snooping---and Bloomberg isn't the only one. I can recall many, many years ago (before the internet) when Dow Jones had a phone service where you could program in stocks over your phone and call in anytime to get quotes on those stocks. A long gone DJ employee  told me, back then, that the famed investment television host, Louis Rukeyeser used the service and reported to me what stocks he was monitoring.

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