There has been a lot of discussion recently about the advantages of technology when it comes to fighting fraud in general and insurance fraud in particular. The analysis of large amounts of digital information in a relatively short time can lead to better, more informed, decisions by businesses large and small, and provide a better means to ascertain, and prevent, fraudulent behavior. The increased use of digital information leaves a bigger trail. Social media, emails, digital photos, all leave noticeable footprints with more information than the creator may know, or may have intended. It can be used to track fraud, but it also can be used to track the tracker.
There were two recently published articles that relate to this problem; one from a business, and one from a scientific, point of view.
The first article, published in the June 1-2 Weekend Edition of the Wall Street Journal and written by Justin Baer, William Launder, and Matthias Rieker, concerned the dispute Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., have had with Bloomberg LP over the sharing of customer data. Both Goldman Sachs and J.P. Morgan Chase subscribe to Bloomberg’s financial terminals, found on trading floors, which provide real-time financial data and analytical tools, as well as news and a messaging function that allows traders to chat in real-time with other traders logged onto the terminals. According to the article, Bloomberg allowed reporters in its news division to access the subscriber usage data for the terminals, which let them see which individual subscribers were logged on at any given time, when a subscriber was last logged on, and how often he accessed certain functions. The Bloomberg reporters used this customer data as a basis to question Goldman Sachs and J.P. Morgan Chase on major news events regarding each. For example, in 2012, J.P. Morgan Chase suffered big trading losses in its London office. Bloomberg reporters used the fact that some employees involved in the losses had not logged on to the Bloomberg terminals, as a basis to question J.P. Morgan about whether those employees had left the company. Similarly, a Bloomberg reporter called Goldman Sachs’ Hong Kong Office this past April to ask about a partner at the firm that had not recently logged on to the Bloomberg Terminal. As a result of the disputes, J.P. Morgan reportedly removed some of the data terminals from its trading floors, though Goldman Sachs has not done so.