Privately owned by New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Bloomberg supplies news and data to around 310,000 clients at a cost of $20,000 a year per terminal.The messaging service, which it pioneered before email was commonly used, is highly prized by banks for its security and functionality.
In May 2013, more than ten thousand private messages sent between users of Bloomberg’s financial terminals have leaked online. Two long lists showing confidential Bloomberg messages between traders at dozens of the world’s largest banks including Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan.
The messages had been found through a simple Google search. They showed information such as Bloomberg user identifiers, real names and traders’ email addresses. Others can comb through traders’ messages to get better pricing information on financial products that are traded over the counter.
The apparent accidental leak threatens to unnerve Bloomberg’s clients. It leads me to think if we are prepared for large global business to be conducted through digital areas securely and privately? Is there an ethical standard for such business practices? After all, clear guidelines should be established, and Bloomberg needs to introspect whether they have gone too far beyond the line.
“Bloomberg Users’ Messages Leaked Online.” Financial Times. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 Sept. 2013.
The Independent. Independent Digital News and Media, n.d. Web. 12 Sept. 2013.