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April 2012 Comment: M Miller

April 2012 Comment: M Miller

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Published by: msmaorg on Jul 04, 2012
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07/04/2012

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David1.Collins,ExecutiveSecretary,MarylandPublicServiceCommissionWilliamDonaldSchaeferTower6St.PaulStreet,16
th
FloorBaltimore,Maryland21202April3,2012DearCommissioners:MycommentfocusesonfivekeyissuesthatIbelievearenotbeinggivenadequateorhonestattentionbytheutilities:1)privacyissues,2)interferencewithmedicaldevices,3)interferencewithgroundfaultcircuitinterrupter(GFCI)safetysockets,4)nationalsecurityissues,5)hackingissues.Includedareasmallsamplingoflinkstodocumentsandwebsitesthatsupportthemainpointsraisedinmycomments.
1)Privacy
SmartMeters,regardlessofwhethertheyuseawirelessorfiberopticapproach,willinvadeourprivacy.
In
thefirstphaseofthesmartmeterdeployment,themeterswilljustcaptureoverallenergyusealldaylong.
In
thesecondphase,aspeoplereplacetheircurrentapplianceswith'smart'appliances,thesmartmeterswillcommunicatewithall'smart'appliances,creatingameshhomeareanetwork.Eveninthefirstphase,thesmartmeterswillcaptureandsendtoBGEagreatdealofpersonaldata.AnyonewithaccesstotheSmartMeterdatacouldtellthefollowing:oWhenpeopleareasleeporawakeoWhenpeoplearehomeorawayoWhethertheyarerunningasmallbusinessinthehouseoHowmanypeopleareinthehomeatanyonetimeoIfthehomecontainsexpensiveelectronicequipment(e.g.,plasmaTV's)oWhetherthehome'salarmsystemisonThepoliceinOhioandTexashavealreadyobtainedsmartmeterdatafromtheutilitieswithoutawarranttoverifythealibisofcriminaldefendants.Thishasserious
4th
amendmentconstitutionalimplicationsthathavenotyetbeenlitigated.Oncethehomeareanetworksbecomescommon,theapplianceusedatawillbeworthafortunetomarketers.Forexample,theSmartMeterdatacanprovideinformationonwhattypeofovenacustomerhas,howolditisandhowoftenitisused.Thatwouldallowovenmanufacturerstotargettheirmarketingtothosefamilieswitholderovens.SmartMeterswillcaptureusagedatafromanymedicaldevicewithasmartchip,andsenditontotheutility.WhilethissoundslikeaclearviolationoftheHealthInsurancePortabilityandAccountabilityAct
(HIP
AA),theutilityoranymarketertheutilitysellsthedatato,arenotcoveredbyHIPAA.
HIPP
Aonlyrequireshealthcareprovidersand
1
 
healthinsurancecompaniestoprotectthissortofdatafromdisclosuretothirdparties.ButthisSmartMeterdatacanbelegitimatelytransferredtohealthinsurancecompaniestoseeifmedicalequipmentpurchasedunderthatinsurancepolicyisactuallybeingused.Inaddition,appliancemanufacturerswouldwanttoseethedatatoseeiftheirapplianceswerebeingusedinaccordancewiththewarrantyprovisions.BGEexplainedtothePublicServiceCommissionthatitistheir'policy'nottosellthisdatatothirdparties,butasofnow,itisonlyapolicy.Policiescanalwaysbechanged.Takenote,forexample,ofGoogle,andhowtheydecidedtorolloutanaggressivenewprivacypolicyonMarch1st,2012,allowingittocombinedataonusersfromallitsplatformsforthefirsttime.Whileweareuncomfortablewithanyonehavingaccesstothisdata,weareparticularlyconcernedthatourMarylandutilitieswillbeginreleasingthisinformationasthevalueoftheinformationgreatlyincreases.Thisdatashouldneverbereleasedtothirdpartiesexceptthroughasearchwarrant.WeneedtoensurethattheprivacyofMarylandcitizensisprotected.WeinvitethemembersofthisCommitteetoreadanoutstandingpieceofresearchonthisissuebytheCongressionalResearchServiceentitled,SmartMeterData:PrivacyandCybersecurity.Thelinktothisreportiswww.fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/R42338.pdfSeealsoSmartMetering
&
Privacy:ExistingLawandCompetingPolicies--AReportfortheColoradoPublicUtilitiesCommissionwhichillustratesclearlyexactlywhatinformationaboutconsumerelectricityusagewillflowfromresidencesandbusinessestotheutilitiesandwhattheimplicationsare:http://papers.ssrn.com/so13/papers.cfm?abstractid=1462285
2)InterferencewithMedicalDevices
Inregardtointerferencewithmedicaldevices,theFDAwebsitewarnsthatradiofrequencyelectromagneticradiationcaninterferewiththem.ThisisthetypeofradiationemittedbySmartMeters.Whilepeoplecanalwaysshutoffthesourceoftheradiationifitisfromamicrowaveoven,cellphone,WIFIorcordlessphone,theywillnotbeabletoshutofftheSmartMeterwhichoperates
2417.
Thetypesmedicaldevicesatriskare:pacemakers,deepbrainstimulatorsusedintreatingParkinson'sdisease,ventilators,painpumpsandwirelessinsulinpumps.TheFDAwebsiteis:http://www.fda.govlRadiation-EmittingProductslRadiationEmittingProductsandProcedureslHomeBusinessandEntertainment/CellPhones/ucm116311.htmNationallyrenownedSmartMeterexpertCindySage,ofSageAssociates,posesthefollowingquestion,which,alongwithotherquestionssheaskscanbeseenat:
2
 
WhatstudyhasbeendoneforpeoplewithmetalimplantswhorequireprotectionunderAmericanswithDisabilitiesAct?WhatisknownabouthowmetalimplantscanintensityRF,heattissueandresultinadverseeffectsbelowRFlevelsallowedforthegeneralpublic.Whatisknownaboutelectromagneticinterference(EMI)fromspuriousRFsourcesintheenvironment(RFIDscanners,celltowers,securitygates,wirelesssecuritysystems,wirelesscommunicationdevicesandrouters,wirelesssmartmeters,etc.)?Shegoesontoexplainthattherearemorethan20millionpeopleintheUSwhoneedspecialprotectionagainstsuchexposuresthatmayendangerthem.HighpeakpowerburstsofRFmaydisableelectronicsinsomecriticalcareandmedicalimplants.WealreadyhavereportsofwirelessdevicesdisablingdeepbrainstimulatorsinParkinson'spatientsandthereispublishedliteratureonmalfunctionswithcriticalcareequipment.Finallyshepointsoutthatinviewoftherapiddeploymentofsmartmetersaroundthecountry,andtherelativelackofpublicinformationontheirradiofrequency(RF)emissionprofilesandpublicexposures,thereisacrucialneedtoprovideindependenttechnicalinformation.AsstatedsosuccinctlybyCindySage,thereisverylittlesolidinformationonwhichdecision-makersandthepubliccanmakeinformeddecisionsaboutwhethersmartmeters,areinfact,anacceptablenewRFexposure,incombinationwithpre-existingRFexposures.
3)InterferencewithGroundFaultCircuitInterrupter(GFCI)SafetySockets
Theelectricindustrydesignedspecialsocketsthataddanextralevelofsafetywherewatermightcomeincontactwiththesocket:bathrooms,kitchens,decksandoutdooroutlets.Theradiofrequencyelectromagneticradiationhasinterferedwiththesesocketssuchthattheydidnottripwhentheyweresupposedto.ThishasapparentlyresultedinanumberofseriousfiresinCaliforniaandTexas.BelowisalinktoawebsitethatcollectsreportsoffireslinkedtoSmartMetersfromtheUnitedStates,AustraliaandCanada.http://emfsafetynetwork.org/?pageid=1280Shockingly,theseSmartMetersarenotlistedbyeitherUnitedLaboratories(UL),orAmericanNationalStandardsInstitute(ANSI).Itisnotclearifourstandardhomeowners'insurancewillprotectusifthefiresarecausedbyautility'ssmartmeters.Oneinsurancecompanysaiditwouldcoverthedamagefromafireandsubrogatetheclaimagainsttheutility,butanotherinsurancecompanysuggestedthehomeownerwouldneedtodirectlysuetheutilityiftheSmartMeterwastheculprit.CentralMainePowerhassetupaspecialunitfortheirsmartmeterprogrambecauseofelectricalinterferencesandhavesettledclaims.http://www.dslreports.com!shownewslPower-Utility-Smart-Meters-Causing-Router-Interference-1171203

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