Reps. Anna Eshoo (D-CA) and Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) introduced legislation Nov. 5 to strengthen privacy protections for online consumers and minimize the amount of personal data companies can collect, maintain and disclose.

The Online Privacy Act would also create user rights to access, correct or delete their data and decide how long companies can keep their data, and would establish an independent Digital Privacy Agency to enforce privacy protections and investigate abuse.

“Every American is vulnerable to privacy violations with few tools to defend themselves,” Eshoo said. “Too often, our private information online is stolen, abused, used for profit or grossly mishandled…Our legislation ensures that every American has control over their own data, companies are held accountable, and the government provides tough but fair oversight.”

The bill would also empower state attorneys general to enforce violations of the bill and allow individuals to appoint nonprofit groups to represent them in private class action lawsuits.

“The Online Privacy Act creates a robust framework that balances the actual needs of businesses with fair privacy rights and expectations for users,” Lofgren said.