Sens. John Thune, R-S.D. and Mark Begich, D-Ark., introduced a bill Tuesday to exempt certain small businesses from a Federal Trade Commission regulation that would require them to undertake measures to prevent identity theft. The bipartisan bill would protect small businesses like doctors’ and dentists’ offices, veterinary clinics and accounting offices that the commission has mistakenly classified as “creditors.” A similar measure, HR 3763, was passed by the House of Representatives last year 400-0.
“Identity theft is a serious problem, but the FTC rules are too broad and ensnare businesses that pose little risk to consumers,” said Thune. “This legislation will help small businesses avoid the costly implementation of unnecessary measures to guard against identity theft.”
The commission issued the regulations under the Fair and Accurate Credit Transition Act of 2003, which requires the establishment of guidelines for financial institutions and creditors regarding identity theft.