Blake Levitt from EMF Safety Network reports, “Today the San Francisco Chronicle confirmed utilities are giving customers smart meter data to the government and third parties. Reporter David Baker writes, “Phone records and email aren’t the only kinds of personal data that government agencies can collect on Americans. They can look at your home’s energy use, too. And that information can be revealing.”
Smart meters are being installed throughout the state by Florida Power and Light (FP&L). FP&L allows customers to monitor their smart meter online using its Energy Dashboard. Smart meters are one part of Energy Smart Florida. Energy Smart Florida is funded in part by a grant from the U.S. Department of Energy. Given the recent revelations about the NSA PRISM program to monitor online activity the use of smart meter data has come under scrutiny. Blue Planet Foundation states on its website:
Fundamentally, smart meters retrieve the same data that utilities have always retrieved. They measure energy use. Whereas analog meter readings reflect aggregated energy data (kilowatt hours per month), smart meters will be able to communicate data on a much more granular level, in real-time. The implications of the sensitive information that can be derived from this data (will my coffee maker reveal what time I wake up?) have raised numerous questions about privacy: Who owns the data? How will it be used? How will it be protected? Can the utility or burglars or the government use this information to spy on me? [Emphasis added]
It now appears that smart meters are being used to transmit user data to government agencies. Smart meters are a surveillance tool, best described by Jerry Day in this video:
The Northern California ACLU writes, “transparency reports filed by the California utilities companies and obtained by the ACLU of California show that a significant amount of data about the energy use of Californians is also ending up in the hands of third parties. In 2012, a single California utility company, San Diego Gas & Electric, disclosed the smart meter energy records of over 4,000 of its customers. “
The “privacy” rules, adopted by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) allows disclosure of smart meter data for legal purposes, or pursuant to situations of imminent threat to life or property. San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) disclosed the records of 4,062 customers. PG&E disclosed 86 and SCE disclosed one.
“In 4,000 of those [SDGE] cases, the information was subpoenaed by government agencies, often in drug enforcement cases or efforts to find specific individuals, according to the utility. The other 62 disclosures came as the result of subpoenas in civil lawsuits. Some of the released information focused solely on billing information, account addresses and other data that could be used to locate an individual.” David Baker- SF Chronicle