In the last hour, the news broke that the FTC has again extended the compliance deadline for the FACTA Red Flags Rule, this time to December 31, 2010, "[a]t the request of several Members of Congress." The FTC's press release of this morning is here. This is the fifth time the FTC has extended the enforcement deadline. As usual, the FTC's extension does not affect "other federal agencies' enforcement of the original November 1, 2008 deadline for institutions subject to their oversight."
As previously reported here, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is currently scheduled to commence enforcement of the FACTA Red Flags Rule (72 Fed. Reg. 63,718) on June 1, 2010. On Friday, only 10 days before the deadline, the American Medical Association, the American Osteopathic Association, and the Medical Society for the District of Columbia filed suit against the FTC in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia (AMA v. FTC, D.D.C., No. 1:10-cv-00843), following in the footsteps of similar lawsuits filed in the past year by the American Bar Association (ABA) and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA). The ABA, in a lawsuit filed last August (ABA v. FTC, No. 1:09-cv-01636-RBW), succeeded in obtaining an order (now on appeal) barring the FTC from enforcing the Red Flags Rule against lawyers. (There has been no ruling on the AICPA complaint filed last November.) Following is a discussion of the definitions ("creditor" and "credit") at the heart of the dispute, a summary of the positions taken by the FTC and the AMA with respect to application of the Red Flags Rule to physicians, and a brief review of the court's decision in ABA v. FTC.
Security governance is often well established in large organizations, but privacy governance typically lags. It is time for a broader approach to "information governance" that focusses on the kinds of sensitive data handled by the enterprise and establishes policies to assure compliance and effective risk management, as well as better customer, employee, government, and business relations.
This week, I will be providing short updates from the IAPP Global Privacy Summit in Washington, DC. The conference will be in full swing tomorrow, and I will report on various panels and topics of interest. In the meantime, as I prepare to see old and new friends at the Welcome Reception this evening, a few thoughts on what I expect to see and hear a lot over the next few days.
As the partners of InfoLawGroup make our way through the sensory overload of the RSA Conference this week, I am reminded (and feel guilty) that it has been a while since I posted here. I have good excuses - have simply been too busy with work - but after spending several days in the thought-provoking environment that is RSA, I had to break down and write something. A few observations, from a lawyer's perspective, based on some pervasive themes.
As our readers know, the FTC, after four extensions of the deadline, currently intends to begin enforcing the Red Flags Rule with respect to organizations subject to its jurisdiction on June 1, 2010. In the meantime, the Red Flags Rule remains in effect as to all financial institutions and creditors (and has been subject to enforcement by the banking regulators since November 1, 2008). Although a recent decision of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, ABA v. FTC, brought lawyers outside the scope of the Rule, the Rule remains broad and covers a wide range of entities as "creditors." Creditors subject to the FTC's jurisdiction need to have their written Red Flags Rule Identity Theft Prevention Programs prepared, approved by the Board, and implemented by June 1. For more on the history and the requirements of the Rule, see my recent article, "The FACTA Red Flags Rule: A Primer," published in Bloomberg Law Reports - Risk & Compliance, reproduced here with the permission of Bloomberg.
The FTC extended the deadline for enforcement of the Red Flags Identity Theft Rule. The new enforcement deadline is June 1, 2010. The deadline was extended at "the request of Members of Congress." www.ftc.gov/opa/2009/10/redflags.shtm
The Federal Trade Commission will begin enforcing its Red Flags Rule this Sunday, November 1. Financial institutions and creditors that hold covered accounts, as defined under the Rule, must have written Red Flags identity theft prevention programs in place by November 1. Earlier today the American Bar Association reported that a federal judge in Washington, D.C., ruled that the FTC exceeded its authority by applying the Red Flags Rule to practicing lawyers. The FTC is expected to appeal today's ruling.