Monday, May 20, 2013

Stats in the News: Bloomberg Data Privacy Breach

Bloomberg LP makes a lot of money by compiling financial data and making it available to clients who pay $20K a year to access the data via special terminals.

Bloomberg also has a news branch. And reporters from the news branch have been collecting data from Bloomberg clients about how they are using/analyzing/etc. the Bloomberg data. Which has the clients up in arms as it could reveal business practices, propriety information, etc. When this story first made the news, the stock market plummeted. Currently, Bloomberg is launching its own investigation into the data abuse.

Here is one of the earlier news stories detailing the case as well as an NPR story about Bloomberg's reactions.
While this doesn't teach statistics, per se, it does provide you with an example to share with your students about real life application of statistics, the value of statistics, data mining, and how our current legal system is facing challenges in regards to regulating data.