The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced on July 29, 2009 that it will delay enforcement of its Red Flags Rule until November 1, 2009. The FTC plans to use this additional time to further educate businesses about the requirements of complying with the Rule “by providing additional resources and guidance to clarify whether businesses are covered by the Rule and what they must do to comply.” This is the third delay in enforcement of the Rule. See Bricker & Eckler’s e-mail alert on prior delays, which were originally scheduled to go into effect on November 1, 2008.

The FTC states that their additional resources and guidance will be aimed particularly at small businesses and other entities which may be unsure whether or how the Rule applies to them. The steps being taken by the FTC are consistent with the House Appropriations Committee’s request to minimize the impact of enforcement on “health care providers and small businesses with a low risk of identity theft problems.” The FTC promises to make such additional resources and guidance available shortly.

More information about the FTC Red Flag Rules is available on our Red Flag Rules Resource Page. The Ohio Hospital Association and Bricker Eckler LLP have also developed a Red Flag Rules Hospital Compliance Guide, available for subscription, which offers assistance to hospitals with these rules.