The Federal Trade Commission (FTC), Washington, will delay enforcement of the new Red Flags Rule until August 1 to give creditors—such as PTs—more time to develop and implement written identity theft prevention programs.
For entities that have a low risk of identity theft, such as businesses that know their customers personally, the Commission will soon release a template to help them comply with the law.
“Given the ongoing debate about whether Congress wrote this provision too broadly, delaying enforcement of the Red Flags Rule will allow industries and associations to share guidance with their members, provide low-risk entities an opportunity to use the template in developing their programs, and give Congress time to consider the issue further,” says FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz.
The American Physical Therapy Association will provide its members with updates and more information.
The Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act of 2003 (FACTA) directed financial regulatory agencies to promulgate rules requiring “creditors” and “financial institutions” with covered accounts to implement programs to identify, detect, and respond to patterns, practices, or activities that could indicate identity theft. FACTA’s definition of “creditor” applies to any entity that regularly extends or renews credit—or arranges for others to do so—and includes all entities that regularly permit deferred payments for goods or services. Accepting credit cards as a form of payment does not, by itself, make an entity a creditor.
During outreach efforts last year, FTC staff learned that some industries and entities within the agency’s jurisdiction were uncertain about their coverage under the Red Flags Rule. FTC staff developed and published materials to help explain what types of entities are covered, and how they might develop their identity theft prevention programs. Among these materials were an alert on the Rule’s requirements, and a Web site with more resources to help covered entities design and implement identity theft prevention programs. The compliance template will be available on the FTC’s Web site.