A question that has sparked much debate over the past 2 years. First we need point out that the concerns expressed are to do with Wireless Smart Meters, these are meters that use Wireless technologies such as WiFi, Cellular(mobile phone) and other transmissions over the airwaves to transmit and receive data from the Utility Companies.
The concerns being that exposure to the radiation generated by such wireless technologies could cause harm to ones health. A lot if arguments have drawn comparisons to that of the continued use of Mobile Phones. A recent report from the World Health Organisation has concluded "To date, no adverse health effects have been established as being caused by mobile phone use". Notwithstanding that smart meters with mobile phone technology installed and used tend to be installed outside and therefore have very limited contact if any to animals and/or humans, unlike mobile phones which tend to be kept in pockets and used with direct contact to skin. The very fact that smart meters are not in direct contact with us nor are they fully transmitting at a constant pace we can deduce that the exposure levels are a fraction of that of a mobile phone to which it has already been concluded that no adverse health effects have been established.
Other types of Smart Meters use wireless technologies such as WiFi, again the World Health Organisation has concluded that "Considering the very low exposure levels and research results collected to date, there is no convincing scientific evidence that the weak RF signals from base stations and wireless networks cause adverse health effects." . Again this statement was addressed to WiFi usage in closed environments such as classrooms and usage of handheld wireless equipment. Therefore, it should be noted that Smart Meters are no in direct contact and therefore the possibility of adverse health effects are again reduced.
Despite these clear assertions, there are those who directly compare and confuse research to argue their points and then use fear to further drive their propaganda or agenda whether it is for political gain or simply out of a need to justify their own fringe beliefs.
This is when Conspiracy Theories are born out of ignorance and fear. Government will not be able to spy on you through smart meters, nor will hackers be able to steal your identity, personal details, nor will they be able to switch off your power. Smart Meters are the foundation technology of a Smarter and more Secure energy grid, it would be silly to assume that Utilities and Governments were looking to take a step backwards and expose the Critical National Infrastructure to attacks.
Despite the minority of these so called fringe activist, smart meters continue to be rolled out across the globe at great pace. Unfortunately we live in a world where a select few will use any platform to gain attention or use fear to further a social or political career, it is therefore paramount that you look at the big picture.
When making your own mind up, use common sense and look at both sides of the coin. Talk to your local energy provider to get as much information as you can. In most countries Smart Meters are mandated by government and not the energy companies, the reason being is to make people more aware of their energy use and bring carbon emissions under control.