(Adds comment from Wyndham)
WASHINGTON, April 7 A U.S. court ruled on Monday
that the Federal Trade Commission can proceed with a lawsuit
against hotel group Wyndham Worldwide Corp for allegedly
failing to safeguard consumers' personal information.
Wyndham had argued that the commission did not have
jurisdiction to sue over what it saw as lax security leading to
data breaches, It had asked for the lawsuit to be dismissed.
Judge Esther Salas, of the U.S. District Court for the
District of New Jersey, disagreed and ruled that the FTC should
be allowed to proceed with its case.
Wyndham said in a statement that it planned to continue its
"We continue to believe the FTC lacks the authority to
pursue this type of case against American businesses, and has
failed to publish any regulations that would give such
businesses fair notice of any proposed standards for data
security," the company said. "We intend to defend our position
The FTC has accused Wyndham of failing to provide adequate
security for its computer system, leading to three data breaches
between April 2008 and January 2010. It says the breaches led to
fraud worth $10.6 million.
FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez said she was "pleased that the
court has recognized the FTC's authority to hold companies
accountable for safeguarding consumer data.
"We look forward to trying this case on the merits," she
Wyndham operates several hotel brands, including the
value-oriented Days Inn and Super 8. It is one of many
organizations to acknowledge in recent years that it had been
hacked by people seeking either financial gain or intellectual
The case is Federal Trade Commission v. Wyndham Worldwide
Corporation et al, U.S. District Court for the District of New
Jersey, case no. 13-cv-1887.
(Reporting by Diane Bartz; Editing by Leslie Adler and Dan