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WASHINGTON-The Federal Reserve Board and Federal Trade Commission jointly issued a request for comment in December on interim final rules and proposed rules concerning the Fair and Accurate Transactions Act of 2003. The FACT Act extends the federal preemptions from the Fair Credit Reporting Act dealing with consumer credit information sharing and adds identity theft protections. The law gives regulators 60 days to determine the effective dates, but by then, the federal preemptions would have expired and states would be free-at least temporarily-to write their own laws. The rules established a Dec. 31, 2003 effective date; the previous provisions are slated to sunset at year-end. “Adopting these rules as interim final rules without advance public comment or delay is intended to avoid delays that could undermine the purpose of these provisions and cause confusion about the applicability of some state laws in areas that the Congress has determined should be governed by uniform national standards,” the Fed and FTC explained. “Adopting these rules will also have the effect of preserving the current state of the law while comment is received.” The Fed and FTC also issued joint proposed rules setting a time frame for the effective dates for other provisions. Provisions that do not require significant changes to business procedures will become effective March 31, 2004 while those likely to entail significant changes would not be effective until Dec. 1, 2004, to give the industry time to comply with the statute. Comments on all the rules are due by Jan. 12.

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