Image: National Institute of Standards and Technology
It also covers some of the concerns that the public has with respect to how this data can be used such as providing a profile of a monitored household to determine whether a house is occupied or not. Refer to article here: privacy-on-the-smart-grid
There are some good suggestions on how household details can be obfuscated but it remains to seen whether any of them will be implemented by Power companies.
What should be a bigger concern to the public is that the smart meter combined with smart appliances creates the potential framework to support further monitoring measures in the future that may not be limited to simply turning on/off appliances remotely.
A “brave new world” in deed where it appears our home is no longer our private sanctuary. Is this a case where technology has outpaced our laws particularly in regards to electronic trespass and where suddenly we appear to be potentially inviting corporations and potential government agencies into our houses without our knowledge or consent?
NBC News reports:
Researchers examining the privacy implications of smart-meter technology found that one German provider’s devices contained vulnerabilities that allowed them to snoop on unencrypted data to determine whether or not the homeowners were home.
After signing up with the German smart-meter firm Discovergy, the researchers detected that the company’s devices transmitted unencrypted data from the home devices back to the company’s servers over an insecure link. The researchers, Dario Carluccio and Stephan Brinkhaus, intercepted the supposedly confidential and sensitive information, and, based on the fingerprint of power usage, were able to tell not only whether or not the homeowners were home, away or even sleeping, but also what movie they were watching on TV.