Interesting article on the introduction of “smart meters” to homes.

Home electrical meters that monitor your every electrical move. When is it too much info being collected and are there risks to privacy?

Your smart meter is watching
Technology’s ability to reveal intimate details makes useful conservation tool a threat to privacy

“Smart meters record and report electricity consumption on an hourly basis – even at the appliance level. Consumers can access their meter data and make individual choices about their energy use, benefitting by taking advantage of future rates.

While this technology is clearly beneficial in terms of valuable efforts to curb greenhouse gas emissions and reduce consumers’ energy bills, it will also give rise to a new challenge – privacy protection. Privacy is the smart grid’s sleeper issue. Whenever technology is utilized that targets individual consumers, there is invariably a dramatic increase in the amount of personally identifiable information that is collected and stored, leading to very real concerns regarding privacy. This is why we need to bake privacy into the smart grid at the design stage – known as “privacy by design” – a concept developed to ensure the protection of privacy by making privacy the default in the design of new technologies and business practices.

We must take great care not to sacrifice consumer privacy amid an atmosphere of unbridled enthusiasm for electricity reform. But we need not forfeit one for the other in a zero-sum manner; we can adopt a positive-sum approach, where both interests may prevail.”

Here’s the article:

http://www.thestar.com/comment/article/726528

A white paper has been released, SmartPrivacy for the Smart Grid: Embedding Privacy in the Design of Electricity Conservation, which not only emphasizes the necessity of building privacy into the smart grid, but also provides guidance as to what concrete steps can be taken.
The paper discussed in this article can be viewed at www.ipc.on.ca.

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