Bloomberg steps up privacy reforms

Bloomberg has made further changes to its data policies following an external review into how its journalists were accessing client log-in activity on the company's trading data terminals (release).

While the review by law firm Hogan Lovells and regulatory compliance firm Promontory Financial Group found that the news agency already had appropriate client data policies and controls in place, Bloomberg said it had taken a number of additional actions to enforce privacy.

Bloomberg has appointed a client data compliance officer, and is in the process of hiring a chief risk and compliance officer. It will also be expanding training on privacy and compliance, and journalists will no longer have access to client UUID and ADSK screens or anonymous chat rooms.

In addition, it is now in the process of implementing a number of additional reforms recommended by editor-at-large Clark Hoyt. This includes the creation of a newsroom standards and practices task force and of a standards editor position to be filled by a senior journalist. The company will also be implementing restrictions on how and why editors and journalists can visit Bloomberg terminal clients.

Former IBM chairman and chief executive Samuel Palmisano, who provided independent advice to Bloomberg’s board of directors, said today’s report is “thorough, objective and comprehensive”.

Bloomberg’s leadership recognized the need for a more comprehensive set of policies and procedures. They acted quickly to enhance their existing structures and put more resources behind this critical priority. Based on my own observations, I support the report’s conclusion that Bloomberg currently has appropriate policies and controls in place.