2017-10-08 Report: Canada’s privacy laws inadequate for “smart” devices

[Auditor General Petitions 255 & 255B by Dennis & Sharon Noble – BC Auditor General – BC Hydro – BCUC Site C Inquiry Intervener Submission by Erik Andersen – Benefits – Bill Ferguson, iGuardStove – Costs – Data for Sale – IoT Implications for Consumer Privacy under Canadian Law by Samuel E. Trosow, Lindsay Taylor, Alexandrina Hanam – MPs – Daniel Therrien, Privacy Commissioner – Safety – Security – What is 5G Newsletter – Wi-Fi – Wireless Devices – Write to John Horgan, David M. Morton, Michelle Mungall, Claire Trevena & Sonia Furstenau re Smart Meter Fires Report – ZigBee | Kelowna, BC – Canada – USA] & (videos)

1)    Canada’s privacy laws are inadequate to protect us from the new “connected” devices such as smeters, ZigBee chips in appliances, etc. We need to educate our MPs and Privacy Commissioner about this deficiency that puts our safety and privacy at risk and demand that legislation be written and enforced that is appropriate to today’s world.

[https://samtrosow.files.wordpress.com/2017/10/the-internet-of-things-implications-for-consumer-privacy-under-canadian-law.pdf]

(click on photos to enlarge)

Smart devices can share your private data, but Canada’s privacy laws offer little protection: report

“To tackle these and other privacy challenges, the report calls on Canada’s privacy commissioner to proactively update privacy laws to bring them up to speed.

“Like other technological developments in the past, the Internet of Things presents compelling evidence that laws need to adopt to changing circumstances.”

It’s a task that the report warns will require considerable funding and resources.

But with Canadians increasingly embracing connected devices — and exposing their personal data to tech companies, marketers and other third parties — it’s something that will need to happen if Canadians’ privacy and security interests are to be protected, the report concludes.”

https://globalnews.ca/news/3791571/canada-privacy-laws-internet-of-things/

2)    In case you were looking for the Auditor General petitions Dennis and I wrote, which I said would be on our website under “Misc”, I was advised by a person organizing the site that the petitions (255 and 255B) belong under “Appeals/Petitions”, so that is where you will find them.

http://www.stopsmartmetersbc.com/appealspetitions/
(scroll down to June 2008)

3)    Non-smeter.  Below is a submission by Erik Anderson, an economist, as an intervener in the review of Site C.  BC Hydro’s poor judgment, deceptive accounting practices, and financial irresponsibility applies to smeters just as it applies to Site C. They did not perform due diligence with regard to safety or privacy, and I doubt they did it with regard to financial benefits vs. costs. Hopefully, the NDP government will not feel bound to honor contracts which were entered into without due care.

4) A BC man has invented something that will turn off your stove if you forget, — it uses Wi-Fi to connect to the internet and provides yet another entry into a home.

Device will turn off stove if you forget

“The basic setting sees the cooktop automatically shut off if no motion is sensed in the kitchen for five minutes.

Five minutes was chosen because if you’re out of the kitchen for longer than that, you are considered to have wandered away and forgotten you have the cooktop on.”

http://www.kelownadailycourier.ca/business_news/article_ba4efeea-aaf1-11e7-982c-17a81791fb90.html

https://iguardfire.com/ (scroll down to the Comparison Chart – Wi-Fi Enabled, Remote Monitoring via Internet, etc.)

5) The October newsletter from “What is 5G”.

http://mailchi.mp/fc3ce1659588/oct-8th-wrap-up-from-what-is-5g-294931

6)    It has now been more than 30 days since I hand delivered hard copies of my Smart Meter Fire Report to John Horgan’s office, and I have yet to receive even an acknowledgement. The covering letter I included is here: http://www.stopsmartmetersbc.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/Letter-to-Premier-John-Horgan-Smart-Meters-A-Fire-Hazard-by-Sharon-Noble-September-01-2017.pdf. I sent, via Registered Mail, hard copies to Energy Minister Mungall, Minister Trevena (to whom the Fire Commissioner reports), and Sonia Furstenau of the Green Party.  http://www.stopsmartmetersbc.com/bcuc-smart-meter-fires-the-failure-to-protect/ [all cover letters are found under 5) Addenda]

I expected the Liberals to ignore such information, but I had hoped for more from the NDP and Greens.  These people are neglecting their duties to protect the citizens of BC by ignoring the proof that fires have occurred and that these smart meters endanger lives and property.

Please consider writing to these people, asking when they will get around to reading this report – it’s only  37 pages long. If they don’t have time, ask their staff to read it and report back!! Email contacts are on www.stopsmartmetersbc.com under “CONTACT” [http://www.stopsmartmetersbc.com/contact/].

Letters:

BCUC Site C Inquiry;
Community Input Session.
Nanaimo, BC, October 10th, 2017
By Erik Andersen; Economist (retired)

It is normal to pay attention to those who have a record of giving good advice, recommendations that are well grounded and generally have proven on the public record to be mostly correct. It is also of importance that when reporting on financial matters, that acceptable accounting standards be a matter of expected behavior, especially when dealing with the public’s money.

On the evidence that follows, BC Hydro has failed miserably to conduct good practices and therefore it is the request of this intervener that all contributions from BC Hydro, in the matter of the Site C project, be rejected as biased and flawed.

The Evidence;

First the record as reported by BC Hydro:
Annual GWhrs sold……………….2007………2017…….% change
….by Category of Customer
Residential Customers…………16,651…..18,068……….+8.5
Light Industrial &………………….18,268…..18,421……….+0.01
….Commercial
Large Industrial……………………15,989……13,177……..-17.6
Total all “REAL”
domestic values…………………..50,908……49,666………..-2.4

Annual Reported Revenues
….by Customer Category………..In Millions $s………% change
Residential Customers…………1,070……..2,012……….+88.0
Light Industrial &………………….1,025……..1,800………+75.6
….Commercial
Large Industrial……………………….556………..770………+38.5
Total all
domestic customers……………..2,651……..4,582……..+72.8

Total Regulatory Assets…………..862……..6,127……+610.79
….(yet to be collected from BCH customers)
Total Balance Sheet Liabilities.11,062…26,979…+143.88
Total Contractual Liabilities……..Zero….58,000…+astronomical
….(AG 2017 report)
Total all Liabilities………………….11,924….91,106

The 10 year BC Hydro record shows BC only annual sales declining by 2.4% concurrent with a 73% increase in revenues, all from increased rates, not from increases in volumes. At the same time BC Hydro has increased all liabilities by nearly +800%.

So along the way what did BC Hydro tell us would be the volume of electricity needed and when? A BC Hydro authored forecast, done in 2006, had domestic demand at 57,201 GWhrs by 2012 and at 63,865 GWhrs by 2018.  That is a forecasting error of about 13,000 GWhrs or 25% too much. Again in 2007 the forecast for 2012 was 57,201 GWhrs, much greater than what was actually recorded. This pattern of extremely bullish BC Hydro forecasting of future demand has prevailed over the past decade and a half, suggesting a conscious determination to present a misleading and aggressive narrative of future demand which likely has been used to support the $58 billion in IPP contracting for more generation capacity in BC.

Currently BC Hydro is extracting about $2 billion extra a year from its BC customers that would not have developed had responsible management of the corporation prevailed. Normal people might call this an example of monopoly power abuse and the abuse has landed mostly on the shoulders of BC residential and light industrial/commercial customers.  It is purely a wealth transfer from the customers of BC Hydro to private and undisclosed private beneficiaries, mostly not residing in BC and probably why all IPP agreements are secret.

For at least a decade BC Hydro has had a running discussion with the BC Auditor General about reporting its financial affairs in accordance with generally acceptable accounting standards/rules and last year this is what she reported for all “government organizations controlled by the province”. “142 entities received separate audit opinions. … 101 of the 142 entities” failed their annual audits and I am convinced BC Hydro was among the majority. In fiscal 2015/2016 BC Hydro discontinued issuing an Annual Report, replacing it with an Annual Service Plan which looks suspiciously like a strategy to overcome a failure to complete a clean audit.  This transformation could be motivated by BC Hydro board members and senior management wishing to avail themselves of the legal accountability, as defined in the BC Budget Transparency and Accountability Act where “ No action or other proceeding may be brought in respect of an obligation established under this Act, except for an obligation under section 20.”

In closing, BC Hydro is extracting about $2 billion a year it should not and that is not the last of the increases in electricity rates in BC if BC Hydro is to be solvent. I can’t imagine a more dramatic example of monopoly power abuse.

BC Hydro has amassed financial obligations of $90 billion which it expects customers to pay with their rates. Added to this will be another $9 billion to build Site C. Current annual revenues from rates are at about $4.6 billion, a very long way short of keeping a $100 billion enterprise solvent.

 

Sharon Noble
Director, Coalition to Stop Smart Meters

Wishing you and your family a Happy Thanksgiving