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Thune, Begich Introduce Bipartisan Legislation to Shield Small Businesses From Unnecessary Regulation

WASHINGTON, DC – Senators John Thune (R-SD) and Mark Begich (D-AK) today introduced a bill to exempt certain small businesses from a regulation by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) that would otherwise require them to undertake costly measures to prevent identity theft. The bipartisan bill would protect small businesses like doctor’s and dentist’s offices, veterinary clinics, and accounting offices that the FTC has mistakenly classified as “creditors.”  A similar measure (HR 3763) was passed by the House of Representatives last year by a vote of 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.”

“It is important for businesses to work to protect the identity of their customers,” said Begich. “But we have to be careful to not unduly harm small businesses, and these explicit exemptions are necessary to make sure they don’t face unnecessary actions costing them time and money.”

The FTC issued the regulations under the Fair and Accurate Credit Transition Act (FACT Act) of 2003, which requires the establishment of guidelines for financial institutions and creditors regarding identity theft.

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