Privacy International & the Electronic Frontier Foundation Raise Concerns About Privacy Implications of Smart Meters

Privacy International (PI) and the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) filed an amicus brief in the case of Naperville Smart Meter Awareness v. City of Naperville before the United States Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit.

PI and EFF argue that usage data from smart electricity meters differs quantitatively and qualitatively from analog electricity meters, revealing intimate details regarding a person’s private in-home activities.

PI and EFF argue that an Illinois District Court’s decision that there is no reasonable expectation of privacy in aggregate electrical usage data, regardless of whether the data is collected by a smart meter or analog meter, is flawed and that the Court’s decision should be reversed.

Patterns generated by smart meter data can be used to infer how many individuals reside in a home as well as their activities, habits, and rhythms of movement, including when they leave their home and when they go to sleep.

Smart meter data can even reveal which appliances are functioning at a given time, allowing one to infer, for example, when residents consume meals, take showers, watch TV, and use exercise equipment.

Privacy International Legal Officer Scarlet Kim said: “The transition from analog meters to smart meters — from a single monthly reading of energy usage to thousands of data points per month — transforms a blunt record of kilowatts consumed into a deeply personal snapshot of a person’s life. The data protection and privacy implications of collecting this data are not confined to Illinois but resonate around the world.”

Electronic Frontier Foundation Staff Attorney Jamie Williams said: “The lower court made false assumptions about how smart meter technology works, and its decision is a threat to the privacy of the 57 million and counting American homes with this new technology.”

For more information:

Chicago utility peddles free ice cream to children to promote smart meters

smartmeter Ice-cream_2A Chicago utility is scooping real low to promote smart meters by driving a red ice cream truck passing out free ice cream cones to children and families.  They must be hoping for easy access to deploy their cancer causing fire starters.  Beware of the armed guard. Wheaton smartmetersweet truck armed ComEd

  • Stop Smart Meters list of flavors:
  • Vanilla Grid
  • Chocolate Implanted Chip
  • No-Privacy Pistachio
  • Smart Metered Mint
  • Surveillance Sherbert
  • Radiating Raspberry
  • Cancer Peppermint Stick
  • Burning House Brownie Fudge
  • Bugged Blueberry
  • Controlled Creamy Caramel
  • An assortment of Intelligence Gathering Ice Cream bar

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Smart Meters, the Opposite of Green

Common Ground CoverJeromy Johnson of wrote an excellent article called, “Smart Meters, the Opposite of Green” which was recently published in the SF Bay Area Common Ground magazine.  The article summarizes exactly why smart meters are such a bad idea for our communities. Find the article on his website:

There will be a special screening of the documentary “Take Back Your Power” on Saturday April 26, at 7 p.m. at the Berkeley Fellowship of Unitarian Universalists, 1924 Cedar Street, Berkeley.  Q&A follows with Jeromy Johnson, film maker Josh del Sol, and Foster and Kimberly Gamble of the movie “Thrive”.  To reserve your free seat visit: 

Manager comes unglued at protest of electricity disconnect

Request for fair treatment ignored

A small rural electric utility in Northern California, Plumas Sierra Rural Electric Cooperative (PSREC), has disconnected power to Stop Smart Meters Director Josh Hart and his partner Heidi for refusing to pay fees to keep an analog meter. Within this cooperative other customers are allowed to self read their analog meters, at no additional cost. Because Josh and Heidi refused a smart meter, they are forced to pay more, $300 a year more. They were not given the option to self read their meter.

Josh and Heidi moved to Plumas County to live in a safer environment. They live in an all electric house, and they have been without electricity since February 19, when PSREC cut the power to their home.  In the following video Heidi tells the “cooperative” why she believes the disconnect is unfair and illegal, and how she feels scared, bullied and shocked about how they are being treated.

PSREC general manager Bob Marshall comes unglued as he responds to Heidi’s comments and having the public meeting filmed.  He demands Josh stop filming and threatens to call the sheriff.  Marshall then responds to Heidi’s request for fair treatment saying,“We disagree strongly with everything you said”.  Then he turned the blame on her saying, “we disagree with your bullying…” Watch the video below.

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Locking ring cut by SCE

Deborah Tavares, a leader in the nationwide Refuse Smart Meter movement, who owns property in Southern California, secured a metal locking ring around her analog meter to protect it from being  replaced with a ‘Smart’ Meter.  She also changed the lock on the cabinet where the meter was enclosed.  Many people have taken similar action to protect their analog meters.  Today, however, Southern California Edison (SCE) cut off both the cabinet lock and the analog locking ring, forcibly installing the new meter.  Deborah said, ” This is tyrannical take over, a technocracy takeover- we are at war!”

SCE has been ordered to provide a delay list by the CPUC, but they have not complied.

Dumb! Meter Song

Click to hear: Dumb! Meter Song





When I heard the news, I didn’t listen at all,

Until one day they installed it on my wall,

Well, I was mad, so I called on the phone

I said come on over, take it off of my home

It was a vibratin, pulsatin, radiatin smart meter,

A vibratin, pulsatin, radiatin smart meter

Vibratin, pulsatin, radiatin smart meter

Sure seems dumb to me.

They refused to listen to my pleading voice,

They said I had to have one, that I had no choice.

When my bill arrived it was ten times more!

I yelled and screamed and stomped on the floor!

It was a vibratin, pulsatin, radiatin smart meter,

A vibratin, pulsatin, radiatin smart meter

I don’t want one, radiatin smart meter

Sure seems dumb to me. (dumb meter)

My head was hurting, couldn’t sleep a wink

My ears were ringing, I could barely think,

Then my lights went out, my computer fried

That meter exploded and I almost died!

It was a vibratin, pulsatin, radiatin smart meter,

A vibratin, pulsatin, radiatin smart meter

We don’t want one, radiatin smart meter

Sure seems dumb to me. (stupid meter)

These meters aren’t safe, tell your PUC

Protect your health, money, and your privacy

Protect your family, your cats and dogs

Call the PUC, bring back the analogs!

It was a vibratin, pulsatin, radiatin smart meter,

A vibratin, pulsatin, radiatin smart meter

Bring back the analogs, safer than the dumb meters

Sure seems smarter to me.

(Lyrics by Sandi and Chris Maurer, Chris Maurer: guitar and vocals, Sandi and Anna Maurer: vocals. Sung to the tune of Purple People Eater)