[LINK] [EFA-Privacy] Smart meters back in the frame

Roger Clarke Roger.Clarke at xamax.com.au
Mon Sep 7 09:55:54 AEST 2020

G'day Jan

On 7/9/20 9:29 am, jwhit--- via Privacy wrote:
> Any truth in this -- you can tell the age of a fridge by a smart meter?
> Seriously????
> Not sure it can tell how many people are in the home, either.
> Hype in terms of oversell or over-fear?
> https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-09-07/amazon-will-soon-see-inside-millions-of-aussie-homes/12582776

With 5-second- or even 15-second-interval data, the signatures of
devices are very distinct.  The obvious one is heat-lamps.

Basically, once they get organised, police forces will know every
smart-meter-connected on-grid indoor marijuana farm, and can then trump
up an excuse to go in, and knock 'em off, in whichever order suits them.
 We can hope they'll limit their focus to the nasty operations and leave
the little guys alone.  (And, to be fair to the police, I've picked up
no vibes of them using the available data to raid 16yo's bedrooms).

And it would be very naive to hope that electricity companies would
think like utilities and respect the privacy of their subscribers.
They're profitable monopolies, and will monetise their massive hoards of
personal data.

Aded to that, legal protection is a forlorn hope.  The Privacy Act was
designed to protect corporations from the ravages of privacy law, not
personal data from private-sector wolves.

So no, it's not an undue scare article.

Oh, and unoccupied premises are obvious even with 30-minute-interval
data, which even the 15-20 year-old digital interval meters transmit.

Surveillance society is alive and well, and there's not enough
appreciation of it, nor enough fightback.

Regards  ...  Roger

Roger Clarke                            mailto:Roger.Clarke at xamax.com.au
T: +61 2 6288 6916   http://www.xamax.com.au  http://www.rogerclarke.com

Xamax Consultancy Pty Ltd      78 Sidaway St, Chapman ACT 2611 AUSTRALIA

Visiting Professor in the Faculty of Law            University of N.S.W.
Visiting Professor in Computer Science    Australian National University

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