Another Out of Control Agency

…that’s overcome with its own self-importance.  I’ve written before about how the Securities and Exchange System abuses its own system of in-house judges for SEC purposes rather than for the public’s interest.

The Federal Trade Commission is another such agency that’s showing it’s outlived its usefulness and for the same reason.  In 2008, LabMD was “found” to have inadvertently exposed a file containing personally identifiable patient information.  I write “found” because the company that “found” the exposure then tried to use their discovery to peddle its data security services to LabMD.  The FTC brought a case against LabMD over the exposure, but last year an FTC in-house judge ruled against the FTC and tossed the case.

That judge, D Michael Chapell, tossed the FTC’s case last year because the commission could not identify any consumers who’d been harmed by LabMD’s allegedly weak security practices. Because no one had been harmed in the seven years since the patient file was exposed, it was unlikely that anyone would be harmed in the future, Judge Chappell concluded.

Wrong answer, Judge.

The FTC, which has the authority to review the rulings issued by its administrative court, said Friday the judge used an incorrect legal standard that was too stringent.

The ruling, being inconvenient to the FTC’s narrative, was rejected out of hand.

Here is the usefulness of an in-house system of judges.

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