Security Experts:

D-Link Hires Government Watchdog to Fight FTC Charges

Connectivity solutions provider D-Link Systems has retained the Cause of Action Institute to help it fight against the “unwarranted and baseless” charges brought by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

The FTC announced last week that it had filed a lawsuit against D-Link, alleging that the vendor made deceptive claims about the security of its products, particularly routers and IP cameras.

The agency said D-Link has advertised its products as being highly secure when in reality they contain vulnerabilities that put consumers at risk. D-Link has been accused of making misrepresentations in device interfaces and promotional materials, falsely claiming that reasonable steps have been taken to prevent unauthorized access to devices, and failure to secure software.

Cause of Action Institute is a non-profit law firm that represents companies in government investigations and litigation in an effort to ensure that “the federal regulatory process is open, honest and fair.” The government watchdog has also defended cancer diagnostics company LabMD in a similar data security lawsuit filed by the FTC.

D-Link is determined to vigorously defend itself against the charges. The company said it retained Cause of Action due to its successful track record in fighting government abuse.

“It sets 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,” said Cause of Action Institute Assistant Vice President Patrick Massari.

“This lawsuit is another instance of the FTC’s unchecked regulatory overreach. If the FTC can bring a lawsuit on the mere potential of a data security breach, nearly every company will be subject to unconstrained and unexplored data security liability,” Massari added. “Such limitless liability coupled with FTC’s history of unrelentingly litigious oversight will no doubt have a chilling effect on innovation in the Internet of Things. Privacy advocates and consumers at large should applaud our client’s courage for fighting these incendiary claims and refusing to be held hostage by the FTC for the next 20 years.”

The FTC also targeted hardware and electronics company Asus in a similar lawsuit. Asus and the FTC reached a settlement in February 2016 after the vendor agreed to establish a security program and implement a notification system to keep customers informed on vulnerabilities and patches.

Related: Serious Vulnerability Affects Over 120 D-Link Products

Related: FTC Seeks Tools for Securing Home IoT Devices

Related: D-Link Patches Critical Flaw in DIR Routers

view counter
Eduard Kovacs is an international correspondent for SecurityWeek. He worked as a high school IT teacher for two years before starting a career in journalism as Softpedia’s security news reporter. Eduard holds a bachelor’s degree in industrial informatics and a master’s degree in computer techniques applied in electrical engineering.