Data Access and Privacy Issues Related to Smart Grid Technologies



Department of Energy, October 5, 2010

This section summarizes and records DOE‘s impressions of the results of its efforts to collect and analyze diverse perspectives on the current state of data security and consumer access and privacy issues associated with the ongoing development and deployment of ―Smart Grid technologies. In so doing, it provides federal, state and local policymakers, as well as utilities and third-party providers of energy management services, with a concise, broad overview of the current state of ongoing efforts to assess the legal and regulatory implications of the data-security and data-privacy issues that were identified during a public information-gathering process conducted by DOE in the spring and summer of 2010. In this document, DOE attempts to provide a measure of certainty for all Smart Grid participants on issues where there is consensus, as well as highlight the pros and cons of various approaches where debate still exists.
DOE stresses the intended audience and the legal and regulatory focus of this report because efforts to encourage the deployment of Smart Grid technologies will depend significantly upon two factors.  First, the success of such efforts depends upon the development of legal and regulatory regimes that respect consumer privacy, promote consumer access to and choice regarding third-party use of their energy data, and secure potentially sensitive data to increase consumer acceptance of Smart Grid.  Second, the success of such efforts also depends upon the development of appropriate technical standards and protocols for promoting privacy, choice, and the secure, interoperable transfer and maintenance of sensitive data. 
 This report focuses on the first of these challenges. Federal efforts to investigate the second set of technical issues and promote the development of standards for addressing them are also underway. Those seeking analyses of the technical issues should consult publications like the  Guidelines for Smart Grid Cyber Security: Vol. 2, Privacy and the Smart Grid, released by the National Institute of Standards and Technology in August 2010.
For full text of the report, click here.
For a related posting on the  Geodata Policy blog, click here.



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