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Reps. Anna Eshoo and Zoe Lofgren. Photos: Tom Williams/Getty Contributor; Chip Somodevilla/Getty Staff.

A pair of California Democrats want to create a new federal agency to protect U.S. consumers' privacy as part of an online privacy bill unveiled Tuesday.

The big picture: Reps. Anna Eshoo and Zoe Lofgren said their Online Privacy Act would create a "Digital Privacy Agency," give users the right to correct and delete information, and impose new restrictions on companies' use of data. The Silicon Valley representatives are setting a high bar for federal privacy legislation amid bipartisan legislation efforts.

Details: The lawmakers contend the Federal Trade Commission is not up to policing privacy and argue the sector needs its own regulator, much like the Federal Aviation Administration or the Food and Drug Administration.

  • "While some are calling for the FTC to enforce privacy, we believe the agency is toothless and has issued the equivalent of parking tickets to companies," Eshoo said in a call with reporters.
  • The proposed Digital Privacy Agency would be an independent body run by a presidential appointee with up to 1,600 employees.

The bill also would prohibit companies from using private communications — including email — to target ads, and it would allow consumers to decide how long companies keep their data.

What's next: The lawmakers said the bill is a starting point, but one they believe sets a standard for what a digital privacy law should include.

  • "[We] thought that if the representatives from Silicon Valley took a strong stand for privacy rights, that it would be meaningful to the rest of Congress," Lofgren said. "That's why this bill is as bold as it is."

Go deeper

Updated 4 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Shooting at Michigan high school leaves 3 dead, 6 wounded

Screengrab: CBSN

A 15-year-old sophomore was arrested after a shooting at a Michigan high school that left three people dead and six others wounded Wednesday, according to the Oakland County Sheriff's Office.

The latest: Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard said at a briefing Tuesday night that the suspect's father had on Friday bought the 9mm Sig Sauer pistol investigators believe was used in the shooting at Oxford High School. Authorities publicly released the names of the victims late Tuesday.

City Council member Andre Dickens wins Atlanta mayoral race

Andre Dickens during a rally at Center Stage on November 28, 2021 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Paras Griffin/Getty Images)

City Council member Andre Dickens won a runoff election Tuesday to become Atlanta's next mayor, soundly beating the council's president Felicia Moore.

The big picture: Dickens was just a few months ago considered to have an outside chance of replacing Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, who announced in May that she wouldn't seek a second term.

UN report: Pandemic set to cost global tourism $2 trillion in 2021

A tourist in front of the Eiffel Tower on November 25, 2021 in Paris. Photo:Chesnot/Getty Images

A new United Nations report warns that global tourism will see only modest revenue gains in 2021 after last year's historic losses amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Why it matters: Tourism revenues in 2020 fell by more than half from the previous year — a significant blow to the global economy, according to analysis by the UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO).