Bloomberg News reporters curbed on client data

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Financial data and news company Bloomberg LP said Wednesday it has put in place new policies and procedures designed to prevent its journalists from accessing the subscriber information of its Wall Street clients.

The moves stem from an outside review that followed complaints earlier this year that journalists in the Bloomberg News division were accessing client login activity on trading information terminals maintained by the company's professional service unit.

The review, led by the law firm Hogan Lovells and the regulatory compliance firm Promontory Financial Group, found that Bloomberg journalists' access to trading terminal information didn't result from a lapse in oversight, but from a "long-standing policy" that allowed them to have access.

"We know we needed to evolve, and we have learned from our mistakes," Bloomberg CEO and president Daniel Doctoroff said in a statement.

In addition, while "a number of journalists" used their access to do things like look up contact or biographical information, or check the date of a trader's last login to see if they were still working for a particular firm, the review found just two instances where the information was used directly in a story.

Bloomberg News reporters had been able to see when any of the professional service's 315,000 paying subscribers, mostly stock and bond traders, had last logged into the service. They could also view the types of "functions" individual subscribers had accessed.

For instance, reporters could see if subscribers had been looking at top news stories or had been gathering data on stocks or bonds, but they couldn't see specific stories, bonds or stocks clients had looked up. -- AP

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