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    Star (Canada): Smart grid data must be protected: Privacy czar

    The Star reports that Ann Cavoukian, Ontario’s information and privacy commissioner, is weighing in on the issue of privacy and “smart grids” (where utilities would be able to collect granular data about consumers’ energy consumption — down to the daily electricity use by the fridge in your kitchen or the TV in your bedroom). I’ve spoked about the privacy issues connected with smart grids and smart meters before.

    The Star reports:

    Personal privacy must remain paramount as the “smart grid” electricity system is built around the province, said Ann Cavoukian, Ontario’s information and privacy commissioner.

    As the grid collects information on power usage and smart meters are installed in Ontario homes to track consumption data, that personal information could represent a treasure trove for hackers, thieves or marketers, said Cavoukian, in her annual report entitled Access & Privacy, A Time for Innovation, released Tuesday.

    “Imagine the enormous interest in this information – not only by marketers and companies but unauthorized third parties like the bad guys, thieves who’ll know when you are not at home,” Cavoukian said in an interview. […]

    Energy Minister Brad Duguid said he is taking Cavoukian’s advice “very seriously” and is already putting measures in place by controlling who has access to the information. […]

    In the not so distant future, “smart” appliances will be able to send in even more gritty details on how we live our lives to companies that provide electrical power. The sharing of that data should concern consumers, Cavoukian said..

    “Think about every single appliance in your house reporting, in real time, your energy use. What will develop over time is a library of personal information relating to a profile of your personal energy use. When you watch TV, what time of day, when you eat, when you sleep and wake,” she said. “That says a lot of the activities of a household.”

    One Response to “Star (Canada): Smart grid data must be protected: Privacy czar”

    1. Joao Batista Gomes Says:


      The Utilities and energy market will be dramatically different. Decentralization of energy production with consumers at the cash markets for the supply of electricity demand with a fully transparent price ( of energy in a region defined at a set time may be cheaper if the sun is shining or the wind is blowing hard ) with Smart Meters in each house, we will be able to automatically purchase energy market and then tell the washing machine to start working as soon as the price of electricity is more favorable to consumers.

      This is just one example, and that could give us an idea of how – after marketing of fossil fuels – will work. The contours of this new season are clear, energy production from oil and gas will become increasingly expensive, because pollution is not free and the resources will not last forever. And the gain in transparency will make the network smarter and cheaper electricity.

      Therefore, we will see many large-scale initiatives of intelligent networks, and who will have control over the information collected by the Smart Meter from my house. It’s my energy supplier, how they treat and protect information of my energy.
      My supplier will meet all my profile use of electricity, gas and water.
      This data may be used against me by my UTILITY, this is my greatest fear.

      But what are the risks of Smart Grid Hacking?
      How can we be affected by these crimes?

      João Batista Gomes

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