Saturday, May 11, 2013

Breaking: Bloomberg News Used Its Private Data to Spy on Geithner and Bernanke

CNBC's Steve Liesman reports that Bloomberg reporters used private log-in data to spy on the activities of Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke and Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner.

Liesman reports:

CNBC has learned from a former Bloomberg employee that he accessed usage information of the company's data terminals of Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and former U.S. Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner. 
The information appeared to concern general functions used by the officials and the frequency with which those functions — such as looking at a bond, equity markets or news — were accessed. The source said all Bloomberg journalists who knew of this capability of the terminal would have had access to the usage information of the officials.[...]
The former Bloomberg employee who worked in the editorial section recalled calling up the information on Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke and Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner "just for fun" and displaying the information to new recruits "to show how powerful" the Bloomberg terminals were.
The former employee said he recalled seeing the functions used by the Fed Chairman and Treasury Secretary and the number of times those functions had been used. The person did not recall which specific functions he saw, but said it would have been at a broad level. For example, he said it would likely have been information that the official accessed a page such as global equity indexes, though not which markets specifically. He said it also could have included information that the user looked up bond spreads, but the information would not have shown what specific bonds were searched by the user.
Still, with thousands of functions, the information could apparently get quite specific. And knowing how often a user looked up individual information and how often the user was logged in could provide valuable information.
As reported earlier, several hundred Bloomberg employees may have accessed private subscriber information. 

No comments:

Post a Comment