Privacy Issues in Smart Grid Deployment
Forthcoming, 2016 in Research Handbook on Intellectual Property and Climate Change, Elgar
23 Pages Posted: 21 Jul 2015 Last revised: 22 Jul 2015
Date Written: July 17, 2015
This chapter serves as an introduction to the privacy and security issues presented by advanced metering and other "smart grid" technologies, and to recent policy efforts to address them. The chapter introduces the recent political and economic push to move to the ‘smart grid’, describes the privacy issues presented by advanced metering technologies and the data they gather, and gives an overview of regulatory and policy efforts being made to address them as the smart grid develops.
Smart electricity meters and other devices that gather or process household energy signatures at high temporal resolutions hold a great deal of promise. Among other predicted benefits, smart grid technologies are expected to better manage energy usage, enable real-time demand-response pricing, improve efficient load balancing across the grid, and increase the capacity for solar and other edge-based energy generation. These predicted benefits depend, in part, on new, richer data models of energy flow and usage. The temporally granular data collected by advanced metering technologies can reveal detailed information about intimate life within the home, raising serious questions about how to address privacy interests. Moreover, the present vision for the smart grid requires large numbers of new devices and gateways to connect from the ‘edge’ of the grid, raising security issues that require immediate and sustained attention. Recent and ongoing technical and policy efforts in the United States and elsewhere attempt to address these issues.
Keywords: privacy, security, smart grid, Internet of Things, Big Data, data flows
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