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CPUC Decision Blocks Data Sharing on Consumer Energy Use

The California Public Utilities Commission last week approved rules that would prohibit utility companies from disclosing customer information gathered via smart meters without that customer’s consent. The decision took effect immediately on Tuesday, with utilities such as San Diego Gas & Electric given 90 days to implement the new rule.

Since their debut in 2008, virtually all homes in San Diego have been retrofitted with the new electronic meters, which can monitor and track usage data in increments as small as 15 minute periods. The new meters have met criticism from consumers, some of whom have complained of harm from radiation the devices emit, and others who cite privacy concerns over the utilities’ ability to gather and disseminate data about individuals’ power use habits.

The state’s Division of Ratepayer Advocates supported the move but would have liked restrictions carried even further to cover third parties that could gain access to power use data. According to their website, “DRA supports the adoption of this decision with modifications to close loopholes in privacy laws,” such as one that allows customer information to be released without consent if used for a “primary purpose.”

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The California Public Utilities Commission last week approved rules that would prohibit utility companies from disclosing customer information gathered via smart meters without that customer’s consent. The decision took effect immediately on Tuesday, with utilities such as San Diego Gas & Electric given 90 days to implement the new rule.

Since their debut in 2008, virtually all homes in San Diego have been retrofitted with the new electronic meters, which can monitor and track usage data in increments as small as 15 minute periods. The new meters have met criticism from consumers, some of whom have complained of harm from radiation the devices emit, and others who cite privacy concerns over the utilities’ ability to gather and disseminate data about individuals’ power use habits.

The state’s Division of Ratepayer Advocates supported the move but would have liked restrictions carried even further to cover third parties that could gain access to power use data. According to their website, “DRA supports the adoption of this decision with modifications to close loopholes in privacy laws,” such as one that allows customer information to be released without consent if used for a “primary purpose.”

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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