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How the Snowden Revelations saved the General Data Protection Regulation


Snowden’s global surveillance revelations inverted the direction of the European Parliament’s debate on the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Before Snowden’s revelations, corporations were shaping Europe’s privacy rules. But when Snowden’s revelations raised the salience of Internet privacy issues, the power of corporations went down, and privacy advocates incorporated their preferences into the GDPR. Thus, the fact that Snowden was able to increase the salience of privacy issues was instrumental in defeating organised corporate power and enabling privacy advocates to mobilise Europe’s culture of privacy protection.
Keywords: Privacy, GDPR, data protection, Snowden, political salience, lobbying