September 21, 2011
Smart Meter installment began with little warning in some areas of Oklahoma. Since February of 2010 OG&E has already installed 350,000 smart meters. They plan on installing smart meters for nearly 800,000 customers by the end of 2012.
Edmond residents are getting the jump on them and have started a petition drive to allow customers to have a choice in the matter.
From News 9 published Sept 19, 2011
EDMOND, Oklahoma — A group of concerned citizens from Edmond are asking Edmond Electric to avoid a Smart Meter System.
The Smart Meter System is the newest technology available for electric companies. The system is designed to track a customer’s use of electricity without sending a utility worker to review each meter.
Edmond Electric believes the system could help with overall cost and energy efficiency. Not everyone supports the move.
Don Powers is an attorney in Edmond who believes the Smart Meter System is not a smart idea.
If you are an Edmond Electric customer and would like to have a say in the matter you can read and sign the petition online here
Privacy is one of the concerns cited by Edmond residents and I will tell you that this concern is a very valid one. I did some research into the matter of privacy and smart meters a few months ago and was astounded by the implications on our personal privacy in our own homes. The capabilities of Smart Meters/ Smart Grid, at the moment, is not being fully utilized but as the systems mature their invasive nature will be revealed. Better study up now before they go on your home.
According to Cheryl Dancey Balough, Balough Law Offices, Chicago;
Three factors fuel the concern of those advocating for additional, specific measures that will protect privacy compromised by the installation of smart meters.
- First, the wealth of information that smart meters and affiliated appliances and devices make available can threaten both consumers’ privacy within their homes and their ability to control the distribution of their personal information outside the home.
- Second, as necessary consumers of electricity, people do not have other options.
- Third, despite the multiple information privacy laws passed in the past few decades, none of them adequately address the new challenges to privacy posed by smart meters
Legal scholars have proposed various concepts of privacy over the past 120 years or so, and the country’s founding fathers certainly contemplated privacy rights when drafting the Bill of Rights. A discussion of those concepts and their origins is beyond the scope of this article. It is important to note, however, that the threats to privacy connected to smart meters lie primarily within the concepts of a right to be left alone within one’s home and the right to control personal information. The first right is embedded in the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution:
The right of the people to be secure in their person, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
The second right—to exercise control over the disclosure of personal information— has been discussed by a number of legal scholars.22 The U.S. Supreme Court also recognized this right in 1977 in Whalen v. Roe.
Source: Privacy Implications of Smart Meters By Cheryl Dancey Balough, Balough Law Offices, Chicago, Illinois, 2011 http://www.balough.com/uploadedFiles/Privacy%20Implications%20of%20Smart%20Meters%20-%20Cheryl%20Dancey%20Balough.pdf