President Obama on Dec. 18 signed the Red Flag Program Clarification Act of 2010, which exempts health care providers, attorneys and certain other service providers from provisions of the Red Flags Rule to combat identity theft.

The rule from the Federal Trade Commission requires businesses that act as "creditors" to take specific steps to minimize identity theft. The newly approved legislation clarified creditors who must comply, in effect, exempting providers and others who do not loan money but permit payment to be deferred.

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