Bloomberg reporters have been keeping tabs on Wall Street using their company's financial terminals, the New York Post reports. Bloomberg terminals, which cost $20,000 a year or more to lease, are a fixture in the banking world. But according to the Post, Goldman Sachs executives recently discovered that reporters could track when investors were logging into the terminals, as well as what they were doing — from looking at a wire story to using the messaging tool. In one case, a reporter apparently asked a Goldman Sachs executive whether a partner had left the bank, mentioning that he hadn't been logging into his terminal.
In a statement to the Post, Bloomberg spokesman Ty Trippet said that reporter access had been cut off, supposedly within 24 hours of Goldman Sachs asking Bloomberg about it. "Limited customer relationship data has long been available to our journalists, and has never included clients' security-level data, position data, trading data or messages," Trippet said. "In light of [Goldman's] concern as well as a general heightened sensitivity to data access, we decided to disable journalist access to this customer relationship information for all clients."
So why were journalists able to get access to terminal information in the first place? Apparently, it's left over from a 1990s system in which reporters would work with sales teams, something that gave them access to customer relationship management tools. We've reached out to Bloomberg for confirmation, but for now, it's the latest incident to test the line between journalistic investigation and inappropriate surveillance.