The advent of the smart grid—a way of incorporating digital technology into the electrical grid to enable two-way communication between utilities and customers—raises a number of data privacy concerns. This new infrastructure will generate incredible amounts of information about customer electricity usage, even enabling those with access to it to see how power is being used within the home in real time. Customers must be assured that their usage data will be protected from breach or sale to unapproved third parties, while they still retain the ability to allow approved vendors to analyze it for the customer’s benefit. To protect this information, Massachusetts should adopt new regulations building off its existing data privacy law and considering other states’ attempts at smart grid privacy policies, as well as the federal government’s recommendations. This will ensure that the Bay State is prepared for widespread implementation of smart grid technology.
B.C. Envtl. Aff. L. Rev.