Privacy issues with the AEMC Smart Meter Rollout

Want to buy some smart meter data

The Australian Energy Market Commission’s (AEMC’s) smart meter rollout ensures every Australian household will eventually receive a smart meter.

Compared to traditional domestic meters the AEMC smart meters collect 26,000 times more information about consumer electricity use. The meters provide unprecedented insights into exactly how much and when consumers use their various appliances.

The unprecedented insights raise significant privacy concerns

The AEMC smart meter rollout takes the attitude because technology is available it should be deployed. The AEMC has failed to consider if it should be deployed or if consumers should be given ownership of their smart meter data.

For example the AEMC smart meter rollout does not allow consumers to refuse the installation of a smart meter. Once installed consumers are not allowed to refuse the collection of 5 minute measurements.

Worryingly the AEMC promotes the use of implicit consumer consent. While this unlocks the hidden value in meter data it increases the likelihood consumer smart meter data will be shared with third parties not selected or authorised by the consumer.


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