City Abstract XI

July 4, 2012

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Why I Am Hydro-Phobic About Meters

July 4, 2012

As anyone who has followed the news of the last year or so knows, the BC Government is forcing us to have intrusive and very expensive (and potentially dangerous) BC Hydro meters attached to our buildings.  However, in Europe, some government institutions are warning against them.

The European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS) has warned that smart meters, which must be introduced into every home in the UK within the next seven years, will be used to track much more than energy consumption unless proper safeguards are introduced.  The EDPS warns that “while the Europe-wide rollout of smart metering systems may bring significant benefits [to the electricity suppliers], it will also enable massive collection of personal data”.

It said the technology could be used to track what “households do within the privacy of their own homes, whether they are away on holiday or at work, if someone uses a specific medical device or a baby monitor, or how they spend their free time” …

“Profiles can be used for many other purposes, including marketing, advertising and price discrimination by third parties.”

It is not just the EDPS complaining either:

Anna Fielder, consumer rights advocate and campaigner at Privacy International, which campaigns against commercial and state intrusion, said consumers in other countries were starting to question the roll-out of smart meters. “Research in Germany, for example, has found that consumers say it’s really creepy and they don’t want Big Brother in their houses,” Fielder said.

These meters are a global attack against individual privacy and need to be strenuously opposed.