FOUNTAIN VALLEY — D-Link Systems Inc. has retained Cause of Action Institute to represent the company in its defense against the Federal Trade Commission's (FTC) claims regarding its security practices.

The FTC has taken up the job of considering companies that are supposedly negligent when it comes to the handling of customers’ data under its rules for unfair or deceptive acts.

A lawsuit was filed against D-Link after the U.S. consumer watchdog voted to take the company to court. It argues that the company had "failed to take reasonable steps to secure the software for their routers and IP cameras," Australia’s ITNews reported.

D-Link, a provider of connectivity products for home, small business and enterprise environments and service providers, has called the FTC's claims "unwarranted" and "baseless."

The FTC is alleging that while D-Link advertised its devices as secure, the company did not address security flaws that permitted hackers to access consumers’ devices remotely.

As a result, the FTC is asking a U.S. District Court in California to get the company to improve its security practices and cover the regulator’s legal costs in bringing the case.

However, in a bid to fight the lawsuit, D-Link has enlisted the services of nonprofit Cause of Action Institute to contest the charges. D-Link reportedly chose the group because of its track record of fighting government abuse, according to a statement from the company.

William Brown, D-Link’s chief information security officer, said in the statement that the company is "committed to protecting customer security" and that there was no data breach as alleged by the FTC in its suit.

According to Cause of Action Institute, the court action by the FTC threatens to set a "dangerous precedent for the federal government to go after a good company and put American jobs at risk without a single instance of actual or likely consumer harm."

The group also argues that many companies will be subjected to data security liability because the FTC is bringing a lawsuit on the potential of a security breach.

 

In 2015, a case against diagnostics laboratory LabMD was knocked back after the FTC failed to convince a court that the firm had exposed personal information of approximately 10,000 accounts, ITNews reported. A judge ruled that while the FTC had proved the possibility of harm it had failed to prove any "probability or likelihood of harm."

According to a separate ITNews report, the FTC previously settled a $2.2 million settlement with dating website Ashley Madison over its slack data security. Despite the cheating site previously advertising that it was secure, a hack was successful at leaking the details of 36 million account holders in July 2015.

FTC commissioners voted 2-1 to approve the filing of the lawsuit against D-Link. The Democratic Chairwoman Edith Ramirez and Commissioner Terrell McSweeny voted yes, but the lone Republican commissioner, Maureen Ohlhausen, opposed filing the lawsuit.

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