This week an article appeared in a MSM News Paper. The piece titled:
Smart meters: power companies know when you’re home.
It started ominously:
They know when you’re out and when you go to bed.
The Office of the Privacy Commissioner yesterday fired a warning shot at power companies over the huge amounts of private details that smart meters collect every day.
In a memo, the office said such meters, which are now installed in more than a million New Zealand homes and businesses, could take electricity readings detailed enough to determine whether customers were using high-energy appliances, such as ovens or heaters, and when they had left the house.
It ended as per usual with reassuring “nothing to see here move on” remarks such as:
Electricity and Gas Complaints Commissioner Judi Jones said smart meters did give power companies a lot of personal information that could be used to work out household routines, such as when customers went to bed or when they left the house.
“Over the course of the day, you can say what is being used or not. You can see when the kids come home and turn on the television.”
However, there was nothing wrong with collecting the information, providing customers were informed and power companies treated it sensitively and securely, she said. She had received three complaints raising concern about privacy, among other issues, and smart meters, none of which were upheld.
Power companies who responded to Fairfax Media yesterday said information from smart meters was kept securely and only sent to third parties and then only when required by law, as with phone records.
Contact Energy said that, despite claims to the contrary, it was not possible to monitor individual appliances, because power use was recorded only once every half an hour.
So here we have mostly privatized utilities who spy on your behaviour and record that information and will only give that to police and other entities as per required by law which in modern revamped regulations is whenever a policeman, industry inspector or other nincompoop calling himself and inspector wants to know. Since when was it necessary for a power company to collect all this data on you? You need energy, they have it for sale. End of!
A second revelation this week was that the Samsung Smart TV happily records all your living room conversations. Encoded of course BUT if authorities want that information it will be made available!
The Daily mail in fact states that not just the Samsung smart TV collects data but a whole slew of other devices you have in your home:
It’s not just smart TVs. Your home is full of gadgets that spy on you: How internet giants are collecting your personal data through their high-tech devices.
This evening, while you settle down to watch Death In Paradise or Birds Of A Feather, the disturbing reality is that your television set may also be watching and listening to you.
If you own a ‘smart TV’ from South Korean tech giant Samsung, every word you say can be captured by the device and beamed over the internet to Samsung and to any other companies with whom it chooses to share your data.
This ability for the TV to earwig your conversations on the sofa is part of the set’s voice command feature, which enables viewers to tell the TV to change channels rather than use a remote.
Such a feature is typical of many smart TVs, which are to the humble old cathode ray TV set what a jet aircraft is to a propeller plane.
Crucially, smart television sets connect to the internet, from where they can download programmes and films from services such as Netflix or BBC iPlayer. And increasingly, experts are realising that if the internet can be used to bring information into your TV, it can also be used to take it out.
Nobody should be gathering any data on anybody. Even in the event of a “criminal” investigation data should be gathered only in the most serious of allegations. Criminal after all, unless it’s stealing, murder, theft or rape, is very much in the eye of the beholder. And even for those kinds of crimes powerful people have been able to turn the moral duty to refrain upside down.
I, for example think that bankers are stealing us blind but bankers tell us that what they are doing is not illegal. I also for example think that oil companies rape but they tell us that they are only polluting entire sections of the globe for our fuel needs while suppressing cleaner options.
I am writing to say that I really enjoy your posts.
I have read your post on collecting information via smart meters and Tv.
I will not have a smart meter and while I have a new Samsung TV I have had the internet connection turned off.
I am of the understanding that the smart meter component of new appliances can be turned off.
The big thing is to try and stop smart meters being compulsory.
We are probably fighting a loosing battle as according to my high tech son, phones and computers all have the capacity to listen in on peoples conversations.
Having said that like you I feel I must make a stand on what is happening in NZ and around the globe. I my opinion we are on a course of extinction.The polluting of the earth on so many levels will kill us. The nuclear no go zone around the city Chernobyl is uninhabitable to humans but a lot of wild life is flourishing, particularly the brown bear. A salutory lessson maybe for us.