Edward Snowden calls GDPR a “paper tiger”, says data collection is the real problem, not data protection

Snowden was speaking at a conference in Lisbon.


GDPR is a controversial law that has been quite a huge point of discussion for any internet-savvy individual. The data protection legislation was created by European lawmakers and tightens the regulations related to personal information handling and data protection.

However, the famous NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden thinks that GDPR is just a “paper tiger” and won’t change anything until huge fines can be issued to tech giants.

Mr. Snowden said that the legislation is a nice idea and the name “General Data Protection Regulation” has a nice ring to it, but the legislation’s focus is misplaced.

“This is a good piece of legislation in terms of the effort they are trying to do. Is GDPR the correct solution? I think no and I think the mistake it makes is actually in the name; the General Data Protection Regulation misplaces the problem,” Snowden told the Web Summit tech conference in Lisbon.

As outlined by Edward Snowden, “the problem isn’t data protection, the problem is data collection.”

He criticized the very idea that tech companies are allowed to gather, store, and analyze the personal information of users in the first place.

He argues that GDPR gives everyone a false sense of security and reassurance while not providing anything substantial to protect our information.

Snowden also noted that the most prominent business model revolves around collecting and analyzing data. Even if your personal information is well protected, it can be used against you.

Mr. Snowden argued in his speech that data is not an abstract thing when it is related to real people who may be exploited.


Igor Tyan

Igor Tyan is an online culture writer for Reclaim The Net. His main topics revolve around the growing devisions in today's internet culture and censorship that takes place on online platforms. He keeps an eye on the zeitgeist at all times. [email protected]