Smart meter report cites ‘areas for improvement’
Posted on December 20, 2011 8:37 am
B.C.’s privacy commissioner released a 37-page report Monday assessing the privacy and security of BC Hydro’s smart meters.
Information and Privacy Commissioner Elizabeth Denham said in a press release that BC Hydro is taking privacy and security issues seriously, but added, “there are areas for improvement.”
BC Hydro is replacing electro-mechanical and digital meters for its more than 1.8 million customers with smart meters. Once fully operational, smart meters will provide hourly information about customers’ electricity consumption.
As a result, analysis of household consumption may reveal more information about daily life.
Commissioner Denham found that BC Hydro is complying with the Freedom of Information and Protection and Privacy Act with regard to the collection, use, disclosure, protection and retention of the personal information of its customers.
However, the Crown corporation is not in compliance with regard to the notification it provides to its customers about smart meters.
“BC Hydro is required by law to tell their customers the purpose for collecting personal information for the smart meters project, what legal authority they have to do so and to provide contact information for a BC Hydro employee who can answer any questions that arise regarding collection. Hydro is not currently meeting this requirement, and we’ve made some recommendations to help them improve their customer notification,” said Denham.