I complain, therefore I am

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No wonder the Tiwai Point smelter is still going – we have a large proportion of the population in constant need of aluminium head wear.

They know when you’re out and when you go to bed.

The Office of the Privacy Commissioner yesterday fired a warning shot at power companies over the huge amounts of private details that smart meters collect every day.

In a memo, the office said such meters, which are now installed in more than a million New Zealand homes and businesses, could take electricity readings detailed enough to determine whether customers were using high-energy appliances, such as ovens or heaters, and when they had left the house.

But power companies said it was not possible to gather that level of detail, and all private electricity information was stored securely.

The office had received a growing number of complaints concerning smart meters, with customers claiming the collection of their real-time electricity readings amounted to a breach of privacy.

While none of complaints had been upheld, the office said the readings undoubtedly contained private information, and power companies needed to be more upfront about their handling of the torrent of personal information gathered by smart meters.

Ignorance would drive ?most of these complains. ?It’s not just the power company that knows you are at home. ?So does your Internet provider and your telco you pay for your mobile phone. ?In fact, the telco doesn’t just know that you’re out, it knows where you go when you are out. ?Or what cities you’ve travelled to.

If you’re going to lay vexatious ignorance driven privacy complaints, at least be consistent.

Of course, the majority of these people would then sit down throughout the day and Facebook their whereabouts, what they had for lunch, who they were meeting, photos of their kids, and so on.

But hey, the power company ‘knows’ you’re at home! ?Or not. ?sigh

The Office of the Privacy Commissioner also needs a hard slap for even sending out an official notice that power companies should behave themselves with consumers’ information. ?There has not been a single occasion of a privacy breach, but they are getting a slap anyway?

Another answer looking for a problem. ? Wish these self absorbed officials would just do their jobs and not make work there none is needed.


– Ben Heather, The Dominion Post