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Bloomberg begins damage control on privacy concern

May 11, 2013 at 1:45 PM   |   Comments

NEW YORK, May 11 (UPI) -- The chief executive at New York financial information firm Bloomberg called a privacy-impacting news-gathering technique used by reporters a mistake.

In a message to Bloomberg subscribers, Chief Executive Officer of Bloomberg Daniel Doctoroff also said that, "client trust is our highest priority and the cornerstone of our business."

"To be clear, the limited customer relationship data previously available to our reporters never included access to our trading, portfolio, monitor, blotter or other related systems or our clients' messages," Doctoroff said.

The New York Times reported Saturday that Bloomberg reporters routinely gathered information from its data subscription service, which has triggered worries that reporters could also observe carefully guarded information on trading done in the highly competitive world of finance.

The incident came to the surface most recently when a Bloomberg reporter called Goldman Sachs to inquire about the status of an executive. During the conversation, the reporter noted that the executive had not been using his Bloomberg terminal recently, a giveaway that the news gathering reporters were reviewing Bloomberg's subscription data service, which is a $20,000 per year, high-speed financial information service used by Wall Street Traders traders

A suggestion that reporters had access to trade information could send shock waves through Wall Street and have serious implications for the business founded by Michael Bloomberg, now the mayor of New York City, who has not handled the day-to-day affairs of the business since got into politics.

"On Wall Street, anonymity is critically important. Secrecy and the ability to cover one's tracks is paramount. If Bloomberg reporters crossed that line, that's an issue," said Michael Driscoll, a former Wall Street trader at Bear Stearns, now an instructor at Adelphi University.

© 2013 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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