As a follow-up to my previous post, I wanted to add a few thoughts about creeping nannyism.
Privacy experts are concerned that new smart grid technology, meant to give consumers greater control over their energy usage, might be used to reveal more about your life than you’d intend. Turns out that, even if individual electronic devices don’t have communications capabilities, their unique load patterns can be picked up on usage reports. Refrigerators, toasters, gaming consoles, etc, all generate unique patterns that can be detected on meters. It would be possible for the curious to know when you’re home, how long you use a hair dryer in the morning, and whether you should spend less time on the xBox. And, if your devices have roaming capabilities (electric vehicles, for example), more patterns can be created and detected. [Read more →]