Most people’s lives are so intertwined with their electricity usage that inferring private, intimate details of our home lives from electrical usage data is a snap for the utilities and 3rd parties with access to this information. For example, one can infer sexual patterns in the home by noting when two showers run at once, or the use of a hairdryer in the home of a single man. These are details that the framers of the US Constitution certainly did not intend that the Government possess.
Naperville-based “The Truth About Smart Grids” recently analyzed the data their neighbor acquired from the Gestapo-like Naperville City Council. They were able to infer the following from the data:
“Incidentally, for example, it appears on April 26, you got up pretty early? You have increased energy usage starting at about 4:30 am. Do you [normally] get up that early? Particularly high usage from 5:45 am to 6:00 am. … Then it looks like no one was home from about 8:30 am until 3:00 pm. You likely went to bed about 10:15. Does that sound about right?”
The resident wrote back and was quite shocked at what I was able to deduce from just a quick scan of the information I had been sent.
Read the full story about the analysis here.