Watchdog: Accountability

FTC commissioner backs down from battle with LabMD

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Cause of Action has won a battle in its war against what the nonprofit government watchdog group views as the Federal Trade Commission's latest abuse of power.

The group is defending LabMD, Inc., against a complaint brought by the FTC in August. LabMD is a cancer-detection facility based in Atlanta that specializes in the analysis and diagnosis of blood, urine and tissue specimens for cancers, micro-organisms and tumor markers, according to CoA.

FTC Commissioner Julie Brill, who has, according to CoA, given multiple speeches in which she has prejudged the facts of the case, "demonstrating bias and making it impossible for her to be a neutral judge," recently recused herself.

Brill did so Dec. 24, shortly after CoA filed a motion to disqualify her from the commission's deliberations regarding LabMD.

The original complaint by the FTC alleged that a third party took data from LabMD's computers through a peer-to-peer file sharing program called LimeWire.

According to the FTC, personal information for more than 10,000 people was exposed. LabMD denied the allegations, claiming the FTC's actions "are arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion, or otherwise not in accordance with law."

CoA Executive Director Dan Epstein claimed Nov. 5 that “[f]rom the outset of the FTC’s investigation, the commission has exerted authority it does not have to punish a business that has done nothing wrong.”

The next hearing for the matter is scheduled for April 28 before Chief Administrative Law Judge D. Michael Chappell.

Go here for more from CoA on the case.

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