As the latest stage in a long-standing, and at times acrimonious, legal battle, the Federal Trade Commission announced it has issued an Opinion and Final Order that reverses an Administrative Law Judge Initial Decision, which had dismissed FTC charges against LabMD for unfair data security practices. The unanimous 3-0 opinion concludes the ALJ “applied the wrong legal standard for unfairness and finds that ‘LabMD’s security practices were unreasonable,’” the FTC press release states. In its final decision, the agency concludes, “the privacy harm resulting from the unauthorized disclosure of sensitive health … information is in and of itself a substantial injury” under Section 5 of the FTC Act. The agency also found LabMD’s security practices were “likely to cause substantial injury.” LabMD now has 60 days to file a petition for review to the U.S. Court of Appeals. Meanwhile, the FTC also approved a final order in its data security case against router maker ASUSTeK.
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