Bloomberg Spying Went On For Years After Execs Knew: Report

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Bloomberg has released the results of an internal investigation conducted by the law firm Hogan Lovells and consulting firm Promontory Group, both of which were hired by Bloomberg. That report highlights the problems related to the data snooping done by some Bloomberg reporters over the last few years.


Bloomberg Spying

Nathaniel Popper of DealBook reports that some Bloomberg journalists continued to access private information about the company’s clients as recently as this year. Bloomberg executives first learned about the company’s journalists accessing the terminals used by their clients in 2011. At that time, they decided to stop providing access to the journalists, who were using the private data as sources for their stories. However, no steps were actually taken to shut down access because of “misunderstandings about who was responsible for doing so.”

The original complaint was made by some financial institutions earlier this year. Goldman Sachs Group Inc (NYSE:GS) and JPMorgan Chase & Co (NYSE:JPM) were two of the firms which went public with their accusations against Bloomberg. That complaint dealt with access to private information from the firms’ Bloomberg terminals. The firms said Bloomberg journalists were able to see the last time their employees used their Bloomberg terminals.

The report issued today from Hogan Lovells and consulting firm Promontory Group indicates that Bloomberg journalists also had access to chat rooms that were used by commodities traders and that were supposed to be anonymous. In addition, the review showed that they were able to access information about one financial product that banks were planning to start issuing.

Bloomberg’s problems resolved?

The report showed that Bloomberg has now blocked its journalists from accessing this information. However, Linette Lopez of Business Insider reports that Bloomberg reporters were able to get into those chat rooms as recently as May.

The media company also released the results of a separate review of its journalistic practices. That review recommended that the company no longer allow its journalists to go along with sales people who were selling the $25,000 per year subscriptions to Bloomberg terminals.

It also highlighted some inconsistencies in the application of Bloomberg’s policy of not covering its parent company.

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