Amazon Web Services, a subsidiary of the world’s biggest retailer, and New Zealand power grid owner, Vector, have joined forces to analyse, share and monetise data generated by more than 1.6 million smart meters across Australia and New Zealand.
According to a recent ABC News report ‘The data goes far beyond how much power you use in a certain time of day — revealing things like the number of televisions you have, the age of your fridge and other appliances, and the number of people in your home’.
Almost every home in Victoria is connected to smart meters, part of a program that cost consumers $2 billion and, when reviewed by the Auditor-General, was found to provide almost “no benefit”.
Kaspar Kaarlep, co-founder of power technology company WePower is quoted by ABC business reporter, Daniel Ziffer, as stating that ‘greater consumer protections in Europe mean this deal would not be legal there’. Kaarlep likens the alliance to the City of Melbourne selling access to all of its CCTV cameras to Amazon … to develop new products and services. ‘When do I come home? When do I leave? What do I have at my home? Who do I live with? This is all visible in that data.’
CEO of the Consumer Policy Research Centre, Lauren Solomon, adds, ‘We actually can’t really tell what data’s being collected, who it’s being shared with and what it’s being used for’.
To read the ABC report in full, go to Amazon’s Vector power smart meter deal puts ‘how you live your life’ on web giant’s servers