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A new federal bureaucracy, the Data Protection Agency (DPA), has been proposed to completely revamp how the U.S. government regulates data collection and misuse by big tech companies. However, while privacy experts call the agency a “good first step,” they remain skeptical about how effective it would be once enforced. Currently, the responsibility of privacy regulation is divvied between several various agencies, including the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and Department of Justice (DOJ). The new agency, introduced by Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), would streamline data regulation efforts under one group, billed with enforcing data privacy and penalizing improper data collection or use. “The United States is vastly behind other countries on this,” said Gillibrand in a Wednesday post. “Virtually every other advanced economy has established an independent agency to address data protection challenges, and many other challenges of the digital age.” The agency would have a three-pronged approach to data privacy regulation, said Gillibrand. First, it would serve as an enforcer for data protection rules and regulation. Americans would be able to file complaints with the DPA regarding data privacy abuse, and the agency could then launch investigations into issues like inappropriate data collection, data misuse and more. And, if companies are found abusing data, the DPA would have the power to inflict civil penalties and seek injunction….

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