Yesterday, a federal court denied Wyndham’s motion to dismiss the FTC’s charges, meaning the agency’s case alleging the hotel chain failed to provide “reasonable” security for customer data will move forward. TF’s Berin Szoka talked to Adweek about what this means for Wyndham’s challenge to the FTC’s authority:
Wyndham is sticking to its position that the FTC overstepped its authority. “It is important to note that the court made no decision on liability today. We continue to believe the FTC lacks the authority to pursue this type of case against American businesses, and has failed to publish any regulations that would give such businesses fair notice of any proposed standards for data security,” the company said in a statement.
TechFreedom, a technology think tank that filed an amicus brief in the case, said that the court missed the point in the Wyndham case. “The court dodged the hard question: does the FTC’s body of roughly 50 unadjudicated settlements and a skimpy ‘guidance brochure’ provide adequate notice? Given that so few companies will challenge the FTC in court, does the FTC have too much discretion?” said Berin Szoka, TechFreedom’s president. “We believe the FTC must do more to explain its analysis of both unfairness and deception, that, in most cases, it could do so without great difficulty, but that in hard cases, the future direction of the law must ultimately be up to the courts, not the three unelected FTC bureaucrats.”