In his blog on msnbc.com, John Roach discussed the inherent risks of smart meter technology. “Smart meter technology holds the promise of helping consumers save on their electricity bills by, for example, allowing consumers to opt-in to pricing schedules that have cheaper rates in off peak hours, such as late at night. Switching tasks such as running the dishwasher then could save a bit of money. One problem with sharing that level of detail with the utility company is that it can feel like a breach of privacy. You may get a cheaper rate for doing your dishes at two in the morning, but now the utility knows you’re doing dishes at two in the morning.”
The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) has published its long anticipated proposed ruling over consumer privacy related to home devices that use smart meter data and are locked into one company’s platform or technology but leave customer-owned data sources outside of its authority.