Smart Grids IAPP

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In late November 2011, over 300 privacy professionals gathered in Paris for the IAPP Europe Data Protection Congress. The event featured engaging debate and unparalleled education on the latest developments in privacy for the European data protection community, including a special track on the intersection of privacy and technology, which examined issues such as mobile privacy, “Privacy by Design,” the right to be forgotten and children’s perspectives on privacy and online interactions. See: s://

Text of Smart Grids IAPP

  • 1. Smart grids and private life A view from France IAPP Europe data protection congressChristophe-Alexandre PAILLARDTuesday, November 29, 2011 11 a.m. 12 p.m. Paris

2. 2Introduction 3. 3 New grids in Europe: what for? Europe needs a more efficient electricity system and new distribution networks to face the growing complexity of systems management and a possible growing gap between energy supplies and demand. New European grids thus mean stronger interconnections within the European electricity system. The existing interconnections could go beyond their present limits to the South, across the Mediterranean Sea, and possibly towards the Russian electricity system. The recent opening of electricity markets led to the development of smart meters such as Linky (March 2009) in France, which are the cornerstone of smart grids in a new European distribution network. The European Commission targets 80% of smart meters in 2020 in the EU. Networks are indeed moving from a passive to an active position through the development of decentralized power generation. 4. 4 Europe is offering new energy measures The European objective is obviously to get greater control over electrical supply and demand and to improve the grids efficiency on a European level. Back in July 2009, the European Parliament and the Council published a directive 200972 EC encouraging the use of smart meters, hoping for 80% of the European population to be equipped by 2020. The Commission and the Parliament also stepped up their support for any use of smart meters since the beginning of 2011. The EU promotes the use of smart meters as part of its energy policy and agenda for 2020. The Commission launched an initiative encouraging investments in this sector. The European Parliament voted in favour of it last summer. 5. 5I. Common European approaches and Frenchsmart grids developments 6. 6 Italy and the Netherlands took the lead for better and for worse: two opposed approaches Italy is due to finish equipping its 36 million consumers at the end of 2011. The Italian Power company ENEL already announced its benefits in terms of fewer service interruptions, from 128 to 49 minutes per year and a 5% reduction in consumption peaks. It is also estimated that losses due to various forms of fraud will eventually be reduced. There was no real debate about privacy concerns. In the Netherlands, the company Oxxio introduced the first smart meter for both electricity and gas in 2005. In 2007, the Dutch government proposed that all seven million households of the country should have a smart meter by 2013. This plan was delayed due to limited possibilities to register small scale local energy production such as solar panels and to privacy concerns. On April 7, 2009 the Dutch government had to back down after consumer groups raised privacy concerns. Instead of a mandatory roll-out, smart meters are now voluntary. 7. 7 Smart meters all over France in 2018 France is preparing to embrace smart meter technology on a massive scale: every household in France is due to have one by 2018. Smart meters or communicating meters are electronic boxes which replace traditional meters on a buildings switchboard. Its distinguishing feature is that it connects itself directly, mainly via internet, with the grid management system. This new generation of meters therefore provides all power managers, distributors and customers with instant access to information on real-time power consumption. These data should enable power suppliers and distribution service operators (EDF, Direct Energie, Poweo, GDF, etc.) to finely tune power used by consumers over the short, medium and long term. In France, Linky meters are due to replace old EDF meters across the country by 2018. Linky will communicate data remotely, transmitting it directly to ERDFs supervision centre. However, potential competitors such as Siemens should be interested in competing on the French market with its Digi X-grid technology. 8. 8How Linky works: architecture chosen by ERDF SubstationCentral Information "Concentrator " SystemPLCAutomationLocal LVnetwork GPRSMVnetwork Customers Suppliers8 9. 9Linky: a revolution in itself Indeed, Linky will carry out commands remotely, meaning a technicians presence is no longer required. It offers numerous possibilities to power distribution companies: precise knowledge of the consumption structure in real-time, savings in travel costs, etc. Furthermore, by enabling consumers to precisely track their consumption, smart meters should improve consumers behaviours, with reduction in demand, as a result of differentiated tariffs or, in the longer term, as a result of energy-saving measures (for example insulation or low-energy light bulbs). A pilot experiment started in 2010. It was mainly conducted in Indre-et- Loire (Tours area) and Lyon. It was conclusive enough to start rolling out smart meters in the whole country from 2013 to 2018. 35 million meters will be installed by 2018 and new buildings will be systematically fitted with them from 2012. 10. 10European smart grids by 2020 11. 11II. Smart grids in Europe : challenges to come for privacy? 12. 12 Privacy protection versus energy efficiency? Smart meters intended to measure and control home electrical consumption precisely. However, it could erode the privacy of daily life, unless regulators limit data collection and disclosure. Indeed, in the absence of clear rules, these potentially beneficial smart grid technologies could mean another intrusion on privacy. Utilities collecting detailed information about energy use in the home must specify in advance how they are going to use that data and must confine their collection to legitimate purposes. Utility companies should ensure that consumers have access to their own data, so they can take advantage of innovative energy efficiency services. The load graphs gathered by advanced energy metering projects will allow the reconstruction of your life: when you wake up, when you get home, when you go on vacation, etc. 13. 13 Load signature: what is the right time to collect the data?French meters could collect real-time consumption readings every 30minutes. Data collected should be kept for two months. Last July, the Frenchenergy regulation agency (CRE) guaranteed to the CNIL that private life wouldbe protected. However, the CNIL is still very cautious about the right real-timeconsumption readings, possible rules on consent and data storage. 14. 14 Smart meter data may be used to determine device usage in the home The CNIL insisted on providing information at not too short intervals. Indeed, granular power consumption data include whether and how often exercise equipment is used. No clear position from ERDF is currently given on consent. Researchers already mapped unique load patterns of different equipment, showing that for instance washing machines pull power in different ways than other devices. The CNIL is thus working on these intervals with the French INRIA (National Institute for research in computer science and control). Even if electricity use is not recorded minute by minute, or at the appliance level, information may be gleaned from on-going monitoring of electricity consumption such as the approximate number of occupants, when they are present, as well as when they are awake or asleep. The CNIL is thus aware of possible abuses (ou misuses). 15. 15Conclusions 16. 16Protecting customer privacy in smart grids Smart grids intelligent monitoring devices are vital information pertaining to the privacy of the customer that can make them vulnerable to burglars, annoying marketers, insurance companies, and civil litigations, etc. Smart grids are vulnerable to many attacks and the hackers can share the usage information with external agencies like insurance companies, electrical appliance makers, pharmaceutical companies, etc. The usage data stored in the utility server has the risk of being stolen and misused. In order to preserve the privacy, one could send anonymous data packets (which contain the usage information, but no user information). This approach allows the utility to forecast load in a region, but will neither enable the utility to analyse individual usage data to advice the consumers regarding their energy usage habits nor will the utility have a way to resolve a bill dispute by mapping usage data with billing amount. Security and private life are not just a product or a protocol; it is a process and a way of keeping the markets safe and reliable. The CNIL will do its best to keep it alike. 17. 17Questions/Answers