Advice on privacy for Australia’s national smart metering program


Canberra, Australia — (METERING.COM) — May 6, 2013 – Victoria has been a leader in smart metering in Australia and now its experience with privacy protections is set to form the basis for privacy for the national smart metering program.

A new review, which is now up for consultation, has found that with some adjustments for potential conflicts or inconsistencies, the recommendations that were proposed for Victoria would mostly be applicable on a national basis in Australia.

The review was produced by Seed Advisory and Etrog Consulting for the ministerial Standing Council on Energy and Resources (SCER), to provide advice on appropriate privacy protections for smart meter data, building on the work done by the Victorian government.

The approach adopted in the Victoria study was that all metering data, including all interval metering data, should be considered as personal data. Further it was recommended that individuals should provide express consent to any use for secondary purposes of their personal information.

Key recommendations of the review include applying a limited industry specific privacy regime to energy market participants, preferably through the development of common standard contract terms to cover permitted uses of metering data, i.e. all agreed primary and secondary purposes of metering data.

Further, subject to the outcome of further analysis, it is recommended to adopt an opt-out regime for the use of interval metering data in direct marketing and the marketing of load control and demand management services by distributors and retailers.

A decision is also required on the permitted uses of metering data and it is proposed that, with the exception of direct marketing and the marketing of load control and demand management products using metering data, all other uses of metering data should be regarded as permitted uses.

These uses can be standardized across the industry and they should be included in standard customer contract terms for retailers and distributors.

Comments on the document are to be submitted by May 31.