Monday, December 19, 2011

Bigger Privacy Concerns About BC Hydro Smart Meters?


Reporter Andrew Duffy writes about British Columbia privacy commissioner Elizabeth Denham's criticism of BC Hydro's smart meter privacy policy in today's Times Colonist:
...According to Denham, while Hydro is complying with privacy regulations with regard to the collection, use and protection of customer information, there’s plenty of room for improvement.

“We found Hydro did not meet the legal requirements for notifying customers about the smart meter project, and I think that is a serious contravention, especially when dealing with a new technology,” Denham said...

...Denham said Hydro is required by law to tell its customers the purpose of collecting personal information for the project, explain its legal authority to do so and provide contact information for reaching a B.C. Hydro employee who can answer questions...

Great article by Duffy, but now it begs the question:

What about government and law enforcement access to BC Hydro smart meter information?

A police force given access to BC Hydro's Wi-Fi data would be granted extraordinary Orwellian ability to collect and use information about citizens based on their power-usage patterns.

Police Scenario 1

VPD Officer #1: "Hey partner, our arrest warrant has been approved on that fraud case from last week."

VPD Officer #2: "That's great, let's go pick him up. Do we have a location?"

VPD Officer #1: "Let's check the BC Hydro smart-meter database... Negligible power usage at his home right now, he's not there. However his power consumption peaks around 11:30pm every night. Lights go on, oven goes on, computer and TV power up."

VPD Officer #2: "OK let's wait for tonight. I love these new smart meters."

VPD Officer #1: "Me too. It makes our job so much easier."

1 comment:

onewithagun said...

Toronto Hydro shares smart meter data with police WITHOUT A WARRANT.
Fluctuations in power usage as little as 0.1 Kwh hour by hour ( more than the customer can see when logging on to their site )are handed over without the cops even asking for it. You can figure out what happens if your power spikes in 18 and 12 hour intervals. You'll need a new front door and have to replace that 400 watt grow light. It doesn't matter if you have a grow license your private data is given to police. If you don't have a license ( and the first thing they do is call Health Canada to ask )police can be very creative about what they "saw" at the address when they approach a JP to ask for a search warrant. This is the biggest violation of the Charter in modern times. All Canadians are subjected to it 24/7 365. You could use less hydro then the average household ( 38 Kwh a day )and still have your house invaded by thugs with badge and gun. It is absolutely outrageous.