The FTC’s case against D-Link raises questions over its power

The FTC’s case against D-Link raises questions over its power

An attempt by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to curb a poorly secured IoT device has raised questions over whether the federal regulator has the power to crack down on vendors suspected of substandard practices.

The FTC recently filed a complaint against Taiwan-based D-Link Systems, alleging that the manufacturer’s internet routers and web cameras put consumers at risk because the devices can be easily hacked.

However, the federal agency’s complaint does not cite evidence that the Taiwanese manufacturer’s internet routers and web cameras have been breached. It only pointed to the potential for harm to the products’ users.

Contesting the complaint, D-Link argued, “Notably, the complaint does not allege any breach of a D-Link Systems device. Instead, the FTC speculates that consumers were placed 'at risk' to be hacked, but fails to allege, as it must, that actual consumers suffered.”

Jeremy Goldman, a partner with law firm Frankfurt Kurnit Klein & Selz, said the case really raised questions over the scope of the federal regulator’s power.

Under the FTC’s logic, any national or international company that promises security in its products but fails to address vulnerabilities could be used.

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