Leaked private messages worsen Bloomberg scandal

Thousands of private messages between terminal users available to public, further undermining faith in Bloomberg

Topics: Bloomberg News, Wall Street, Privacy, bloomberg terminals, Spying, Surveillance, ,

Leaked private messages worsen Bloomberg scandal (Credit: Shutterstock)

Following revelations that Bloomberg News reporters had used the Bloomberg terminals — ubiquitous in the finance sector — to spy on some banker activity, the Financial Times reported Tuesday that thousands of private messages sent between terminal users have been leaked online and available for public view for some time. The latest news “undermin[es] he company’s attempts to restore faith in its ability to keep client data confidential as it scrambles to allay clients’ privacy concerns.”

Bloomberg has responded that the messages were willingly made available to them by clients, but their availability online to the broader public certainly “threatens to unnerve clients,” as the FT noted.

The FT reported:

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Two long lists showing confidential Bloomberg messages between traders at dozens of the world’s largest banks and their clients have been online for several years, the Financial Times has learnt. Two long lists showing confidential Bloomberg messages between traders at dozens of the world’s largest banks and their clients have been online for several years, the Financial Times has learnt.

The documents from one particular day in 2009 and also from 2010, contain messages sent in by clients so Bloomberg could extract price data for their use on bonds, credit default swaps and other financial products from traders’ messages.

The messages had been found, a financial markets professional said, through a simple Google search. They were taken down from the internet on Monday, after the FT inquired about them.

They showed information such as unique Bloomberg user identifiers, real names and traders’ email addresses as well as confidential financial price information and trading activity.

Natasha Lennard

Natasha Lennard is an assistant news editor at Salon, covering non-electoral politics, general news and rabble-rousing. Follow her on Twitter @natashalennard, email nlennard@salon.com.

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