SEC and CFTC Propose Identity Theft Red Flag Rules


On March 6, 2012, the SEC and CFTC jointly proposed rules (the “Proposal”) that would require registered broker-dealers, investment companies, investment advisers, commodity trading advisors, commodity pool operators and introducing brokers to develop and implement a written identity theft prevention program (a “Program”) that is designed to detect, prevent and mitigate identity theft in connection with certain existing accounts or the opening of new accounts (the “Red Flag Rules”). The SEC and CFTC are also proposing guidelines (the “Guidelines”) to assist entities in the formulation and maintenance of a Program that would satisfy the requirements set forth in the Proposal.

In 2007, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) adopted rules and guidelines regarding the detection, prevention and mitigation of identity theft (the “FTC Red Flag Rules”). The Proposal, if adopted, would not contain new requirements not already in the FTC Red Flag Rules, nor would it expand the scope of those rules to include new entities that were not already previously covered by the FTC Red Flag Rules. Thus, if a broker-dealer, registered investment company, registered investment adviser, commodity trading advisor, commodity pool operator or introducing broker was subject to the FTC Red Flag Rules, they would be subject to the Red Flag Rules.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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