Joint Comments on Proposed Smart Grid Privacy Policies and Procedures

Source: Center for Democracy and Technology, October 15, 2010

The Smart Grid promises great benefits to consumers and the environment, including lowered energy costs, increased usage of environmentally friendly power sources, and enhanced security against attack and outage.  At the same time, however, the Smart Grid presents new privacy threats through its enhanced collection and transmission of detailed consumption data – data that can reveal intimate details about activities within the home and that can easily be transmitted from one party to another.

Both the Commission and parties to this proceeding have agreed that a full set of “Fair Information Practice” principles, as previously outlined by CDT and EFF, is the best framework to adopt in order to protect consumers. Adopting rules based on the full set of FIPs is particularly important now, in light of a growing national consensus that consumer privacy is not adequately protected by mere “notice and choice.”

In these comments, we articulate a clear, concise set of policies and procedures that implement or “operationalize” the full set of FIPs for the Smart Grid. We respectfully encourage the Commission to require these policies and procedures of all regulable Smart Grid entities. CDT and EFF are interested in working with all parties on these proposed rules, and we invite other parties to offer suggestions for improvement or to express support for our framework.

See also CDT webpage that links to multiple articles on this topic.

See also related blog postings:

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