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FTC delays enforcing Red Flags Rule


The FTC will delay enforcement of the new "Red Flags Rule" until Aug. 1.


-- The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced it will delay enforcement of the new "Red Flags Rule," designed to curb identity theft, until Aug. 1, to give financial institutions and creditors, including veterinarians, more time to develop and implement mandatory antitheft programs.

The rule, requiring financial institutions and those defined as creditors to develop written plans to detect and prevent theft of their clients' personal information, was to have been enforced starting May 1, but several organizations raised questions about the law's application to them and its impact.

Those organizations included the American Veterinary Medical Association, American Medical Association and American Dental Association.

The AVMA's Governmental Affairs Division held meetings on Capitol Hill about the rule's application to veterinarians, as a result of which Rep. Nadia M. Velazquez, D-N.Y., Chair of the House Small Business Committee, wrote a letter to the FTC expressing concern about the impact of Red Flags on health professionals and urging the FTC to at least delay implementation to give those affected more opportunity to comment.

That letter led to the three-month enforcement delay until Aug. 1, giving veterinarians and other creditors -- defined as those who do not always receive payment in full from their clients at the time of treatment - additional time to get their plans in place.

Meanwhile, the AVMA says it is working with a Red Flags expert to conduct a series of free informational webinars about the rule. Three were held in April, and more are scheduled through July. To register, visit the AVMAWeb site.

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