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Somebody’s Watching Me

April 17th, 2014 - 8:18 am

That fancy new smart meter your utility company might have just installed in your home isn’t just smart — it’s sneaky:

The information gathered from smart meters includes unencrypted data that can, among other details, reveal when a homeowner is away from their residence for long periods of time. The electric wattage readings can even decipher what type of activities a customer is engaged in, such as watching TV, using a computer or even how long someone spends cooking.

“It’s in the nature of technology to be neutral in the benefits and the risks; it’s how the info is used,” Allen Gilbert, executive director of the Vermont branch of the American Civil Liberties Union, tells FoxNews.com. “Look at smartphones. No one can argue the benefits of having one. But on the other hand, it’s the best tracking device.”

I can’t find the link from my pre-PJM archives, but I wrote in the wee early days of VodkaPundit that privacy was over, that everything would be surveilled, and that you had best check your zipper twice before leaving your house.

What I couldn’t have imagined ten or 12 years ago is that your house would check your fly first.

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All Comments   (3)
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Three words: Off the grid.

Sure, right now it's cost-prohibitive, but that's changing.
13 weeks ago
13 weeks ago Link To Comment
The tin-foil reaction to such technologies should generally be tempered by occam's razor-- if someone really wants to know if you're home or watching TV, it's a whole heck of a lot easier to drive by and look than to reverse engineer a RF data link on a power meter and hope your energy uses are typical.

There are reasonable approaches to anonymizing one's self in the modern, connected world.
13 weeks ago
13 weeks ago Link To Comment
And which of the (in my house) four TVs is in use? Which computer? Can it differentiate between a stove, an oven, and a microwave? We have a smart meter, and the only gadget it can read directly is the central AC/heat, because the thermostat which communicates with the meter is directly connected to the HVAC. Everything else is just "power used" as far as the meter knows. Different meters and companies may "offer" deeper connectedness and monitoring, of course.
13 weeks ago
13 weeks ago Link To Comment
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