Today the San Francisco Chronicle confirmed utilities are giving customers smart meter data to the government and third parties. Reporter David Baker writes, “Phone records and e-mail aren’t the only kinds of personal data that government agencies can collect on Americans. They can look at your home’s energy use, too. And that information can be revealing.”
Smart meters are a surveillance tool, best described by Jerry Day in this video– which has reached over 1.7 million viewers. And now we have proof that if you have a smart meters on your home, your privacy: what you do in your home, or if your not home, when you cook, watch TV, or if you get up in the middle of the night is provided to third parties for “legal” purposes when requested. The smart meter data when analyzed shows a detailed pattern of your life.
The Northern California ACLU writes, “transparency reports filed by the California utilities companies and obtained by the ACLU of California show that a significant amount of data about the energy use of Californians is also ending up in the hands of third parties. In 2012, a single California utility company, San Diego Gas & Electric, disclosed the smart meter energy records of over 4,000 of its customers. “
The “privacy” rules, adopted by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) allows disclosure of smart meter data for legal purposes, or pursuant to situations of imminent threat to life or property. San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) disclosed the records of 4,062 customers. PG&E disclosed 86 and SCE disclosed one.
“In 4,000 of those [SDGE] cases, the information was subpoenaed by government agencies, often in drug enforcement cases or efforts to find specific individuals, according to the utility. The other 62 disclosures came as the result of subpoenas in civil lawsuits. Some of the released information focused solely on billing information, account addresses and other data that could be used to locate an individual.” David Baker- SF Chronicle
According to the ACLU “a single legal request can potentially result in the disclosure of millions of customers’ records.”
More: ACLU website.