U.S. District Judge Esther Salas has ruled that the Federal Trade Commission has the ability to bring legal action against companies that don't adequately guard customer data from hackers. The decision stems from a 2012 case against Wyndham Hotels, which the FTC says fell short in security measures as hackers accessed data for 500,000 credit cards. Salas cited a "binding and persuasive precedent" for the agency's authority.

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