The Seventh Circuit just handed down a landmark opinion, ruling 3-0 that the Fourth Amendment protects energy-consumption data collected by smart meters. Smart meters collect energy usage data at high frequencies—typically every 5, 15, or 30 minutes—and therefore know exactly how much electricity is being used, and when, in any given household. The court recognized that data from these devices reveals intimate details about what’s going on inside the home that would otherwise be unavailable to the government without a physical search. The court held that residents have a reasonable expectation of privacy in this data and that the government’s access of it constitutes a “search.”
This case, Naperville Smart Meter Awareness v. City of Naperville, is the first case addressing whether the Fourth Amendment protects smart meter data. Courts have in the past held that the Fourth Amendment does not protect monthly energy usage readings from traditional, analog energy meters, the predecessors to smart meters. The lower court in this case applied that precedent to conclude that smart meter data, too, was unprotected as a matter of law. On appeal, EFF and Privacy International filed an amicus brief urging the Seventh Circuit to reconsider this dangerous ruling. And in its decision, released last week, the Seventh Circuit wisely recognized that smart meters and analog meters are different:
“Using traditional energy meters, utilities typically collect monthly energy consumption in a single lump figure once per month. By contrast, smart meters record consumption much more frequently, often collecting thousands of readings every month. Due to this frequency, smart meters show both:
Security bods slam ‘hackable’ smart meters as firms prepare for SMETS 2 rollout
Keep the profits coming on the smart meter that continues to endanger homes, and people for greed. Option to switch back to safe, more dependable meters??? SECURITY EXPERTS have warned the UK government that so-called smart meters could be used by hackers to defraud Brits and steal their personal details.
The ‘no sh*t’ warning comes after GCHQ, in December 2016, forced a delay to the rollout of second-gen smart meters, known as SMETS 2, after it was revealed that energy companies were proposing to use a single decryption key for communications the meters that UK gov wants installed in every home in the UK. At present, only eight million out of 27 million households have so far signed up to the £11 billion scheme.
This fresh warning, reported by The Mail on Sunday, comes as energy firms prepare to roll out the long-delayed SMETS 2 meters, which unlike current SMETS 1 systems, will be common to all electricity and gas suppliers and means customers will no longer have to change their smart meter if they change supplier. Security experts have warned UK gov that the universal meters could enable hackers to artificially inflate meter readings and intercept payments.
Another potential problem is:
Flashback to 2010 Warning – The Dark Side of ‘Smart’ Meters
In invitational presentation below, the San Francisco Tesla Society consulting engineer Rob States explains how PG&E’s so-called ‘smart’ meters work and why they endanger health and privacy. He asks the obvious question, “Why would you trust the company that brought you Prop. 16?”
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