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The U.S. Needs a Data Protection Agency

Companies and foreign adversaries want to exploit your data. Someone should be looking out for you.

Right now, a great deal of your personal information — public profiles, health data, photos, past purchases, locations, search histories, and much more — is likely scattered across the internet.

That’s why I’m introducing new legislation to create a Data Protection Agency and bring the protection of your privacy and freedom into the digital age.

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The U.S. Needs a Data Protection Agency.

The United States must make an effort to take the lead and do something about data protection.

The Data Protection Act would address this head-on. My legislation would establish an independent federal agency, the Data Protection Agency, that would serve as a “referee” to define, arbitrate, and enforce rules to defend the protection of our personal data.

1. Give Americans control and protection over their own data by enforcing data protection rules.

  • The agency would enforce privacy statutes and rules around data protection, either as authorized by Congress or themselves. It would use a broad range of tools to do so, including civil penalties, injunctive relief, and equitable remedies.
  • The agency would also take complaints, conduct investigations, and inform the public on data protection matters. So if it seems like a company is doing bad things with your data, the Data Protection Agency would have the authority to launch an investigation and share findings.

2. Work to maintain the most innovative, successful tech sector in the world and ensure fair competition within the digital marketplace.

  • The agency would promote data protection and privacy innovation across sectors, developing and providing resources such as Privacy Enhancing Technologies (PETs) that minimize or even eliminate the collection of personal data.
  • The agency would ensure equal access to privacy protection and protect against “pay-for-privacy” or “take-it-or-leave-it” provisions in service contracts — because privacy, including online privacy, is a right that should be enforced.

3. Prepare the American government for the digital age.

  • The agency would advise Congress on emerging privacy and technology issues, like Deepfakes and encryption. It would also represent the United States at international forums regarding data privacy and inform future treaty agreements regarding data.

United States Senator for New York. Official Senate Medium account.

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