Hacked companies, get ready — a federal court just made it easier for the government to sue you. “Monday’s decision from the Third Circuit Court of Appeals clarifies the [Federal Trade Commission’s] powers, giving it more ammunition against businesses that fail to invest in their own security,” The Washington Post reports. “And that could be good news for consumers in light of the growing pace of online attacks … The court’s decision finds that the FTC acted appropriately when it sued Wyndham Worldwide Corporation, a massive international hotel chain and hospitality conglomerate, after Wyndham was hacked three times in two years, exposing the credit card data of more than 600,000 customers.”
SPEAKING OF LAWSUITS: A man is suing infidelity Web site Ashley Madison and its parent company in federal court, saying he suffered emotional distress after the site was hacked. “The lawsuit claims that the data breach could have been prevented if the company had taken ‘necessary and reasonable precautions to protect its users’ information, by, for example, encrypting the data,'” Reuters reports. “The lawsuit says that in addition to making ‘extremely personal and embarrassing information … accessible to the public,’ the data breach made personal details such as addresses, phone numbers and credit card information available on the web.”
BAD NEWS: The practice of serving malicious software to unknowing users through advertising networks tripled in the last year, the Verge reports.
TWITTER FACED SEC QUESTIONS: The Securities and Exchange Commission asked Twitter earlier this year why it chose to stop reporting timeline views as a measure of user engagement. “Correspondence released Monday showed regulators had asked Twitter beginning in April whether it planned ‘alternative metrics’ to ‘explain trends in user engagement and advertising services.’ The questions came in the SEC’s review of Twitter’s annual securities filing,” the Wall Street Journal reports. “Twitter’s response – that it had begun disclosing measures of how often users take an action in response to an ad, and how much advertisers pay for those actions – appeared to satisfy the SEC. The agency dropped the inquiry following Twitter’s reply.”