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Canadian privacy commissioner investigates smart meters

28 July, 2011.

VICTORIA – British Columbia’s Information and Privacy Commissioner is investigating BC Hydro’s Smart Metering Program to ensure that it complies with privacy law.

Commissioner Elizabeth Denham launched her investigation following receipt of numerous complaints that the information collected by smart meters breaches personal privacy.

BC Hydro has recently started installing smart meters and, by the end of 2012, has plans to install more than 1.8 million throughout BC. Rather than measuring energy use for each billing period, as is currently the case, smart meters provide more frequent information about people’s electricity use.

“The privacy and security of energy consumption data is a very real issue for citizens throughout the province,” said Commissioner Denham. “With an increase in the frequency of the information collected from smart meters comes an increased responsibility on BC Hydro to ensure that privacy and security is built into the smart grid.”

The commissioner will investigate whether BC Hydro’s use of smart meters complies with its obligations regarding collection, use, disclosure, retention and security of personal information under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.

BC Hydro has been consulting with the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner on the privacy and security implications of its smart meters program, and has also committed to co-operate fully with the Commissioner’s investigation.

The commissioner will release a public report when the investigation is complete.
Maria Dupuis
Communications & Research Officer
Tel: 250 953 4191
Email: mdupuis@oipc.bc.ca

The original PDF announcement is HERE



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