Posts Tagged ‘Privacy’

Are Electric “Smart Meters” A Threat?

February 11, 2012 Leave a comment

In the area where I live, the electric utility company is planning on replacing regular electric meters with some “smart” meters.

This morning, I was browsing the net to find out more about “grid-tie” solar power systems. This is because I currently own a small solar electricity system that I am looking to upscale.

As I was browsing the net, and watching some videos from US and Canada on grid-tie systems. I found out that most of the people having a grid-tie system had a “smart” electric meter installed by the utility company.

I was shocked by the amount of the people I read about or watched on videos that had those meters installed and were clearly saying that they are some privacy issues.

Yes, by monitoring your energy consumption patterns, the electic company can tell wether or not you are at home!

Also your actual power consumption is displayed on the meter out of your house…

Isn’t this another threat to privacy?

I know what’s in the long run for the power utility companies. They will be able to sell you the electricity at various prices depending on when you use it.

So If you cook your meals or take a shower or watch TV during peak hours it’ll cost you MORE…

Then they (the utility co) say that you will end up saving money. The truth is that in most area they were installed an extra “Administration” fee adds up to the bill which is in fact a communication fee and the associated taxes. Yes the smart meters have to communicate over radio radio frequencies too!

In my region, they say (the utility co) that you can opt out of the program, but they will charge you an extra charge.

Health Hazard?

In this post I only talked about the privacy and monetary aspect. But there’s also a big controversy over the health hazard. I find that the “pro” smart meters sides are very short sighted and tend tp generalized the facts. They base their facts on if you only have one meter. What if you live in a building with more than one rental unit and happen to be the unit at the same level as the meter? What if like me, the meter is located on the outside wall of your home office where I sepend several hours a week?

Have a look at this video and tell me why do you think that the light is flickering?

Last Words

I tough that the controversy surrounding the installation and exploitation of the “smart meters” was a local problem to my region but in fact after digging a bit more I found that its spread across Texas, Florida, California, Illinois in the US and British Columbia and Quebec in Canada.

EDIT: Here’s a good video about the smart meters and privacy:

You can find many more in your favorite search engine. (mine is bing)


Is Google too powerful?

January 31, 2012 6 comments

Coming March 1st 2012, Google’s new privacy policy will come in effect.

To be honest, I’ve never bothered myself reading the long legal scribbles of privacy policies, end user license etc. In fact, if I would have done so, I would have needed my lawyer sitting next to me every time I login my computer.

But after I heard many times in the past about people complaining about Google’s mishandling peoples personal information, I said to myself. Let’s have a look.

One thing I quickly realized is that Google with it’s ads and Google analysis is now present almost everywhere. They can and they are harvesting information about any sites you navigate to. And they tie that information to your Google profile. Therefore wether you use their services on a daily basis or you used to, they know your browsing history better than your own internet browser!

Worse is by using IP adress geolocation, they can see were you’ve been: you’re at home you use your internet browser to navigate to a site. Bang they know you’re in “smalltown”. You go to a congress out of town, you use your laptop to browse to a site that uses google analytics. Bang again they know you’re in “bigtown”. It’s even worse if you use one of their “materialized” spy codenamed: Android!

Il’ stop here, because this is becoming scary…

I just hope that the people at Google read this. Because eventually this page WILL be index by their search bots. 😉

What do you think ?

Is this really helping them helping me better?

What GOOD benefits do I have of being tracked all over the planet?

Personally, I am sick and tired of the mechanics in which by using one’s service I automatically betray myself and consent to all that stupidity.

Categories: Misc, Tech Talks Tags: , , ,