2019-01-09 Big Data Pilot Project, in Canada, using smeter data

1) A member asked me to share her experience with an older microwave oven that was still working well. Out of curiosity she had it tested with a tri-field meter and the needle maxed out. She wisely discarded it, ensuring it could not be used again by cutting the cord, and she bought an new one.  I advised her to measure that oven’s EMR, too, since many ovens, even brand new ones, leak radiation. Dr. Magda Havas told me that she has tested many ovens and all but one leaked. But microwave radiation isn’t the only reason to reconsider using these ovens.  There are many concerns about using a microwave oven (too bad they are so very handy.  Kind of like cell phones, which are handy, too.)  Here is just one article:

Do Microwave Ovens Pose Health Risks?

“Microwaved foods lose nutrition.

The Swiss scientist Hans Hertel, was the first to study microwave dangers, specifically, how cooking degrades and depletes food of nutrients—an effect that shows up in study participants’ blood samples. 

Microwaving makes food unhealthy

When the microwave radiation destroys and deforms food molecules, new harmful compounds form (radiolytic compounds). These dangerous compounds harm the body in many ways.”

(revised) https://www.health-science.com/microwave-hazards/

[see 1) – http://www.stopsmartmetersbc.com/2019-01-10-microwave-cooking-can-make-food-dangerous/]

2)   Bell is asking its customers’ permission to gather and share personal data via every Bell-connected device.

Bell wants permission to gather and track customer data

“Teresa Scassa, who teaches law at the University of Ottawa and holds the Canada Research Chair in Information Law and Policy, says Bell has done a good job of explaining what it wants to do.

But Scassa says Bell customers who opt into Bell’s new program could be giving away commercially valuable personal information with little to no compensation for increased risks to their privacy and security.

“Here’s a company that’s taking every shred of personal information about me, from all kinds of activities that I engage in, and they’re monetizing it. What do I get in return? Better ads? Really? That’s it? What about better prices?””

 https://www.cbc.ca/news/business/bell-customer-data-1.4969066?cmp=rss

 3)  Federal government working to use data obtained via the smeter for Stats Canada.  How can Hydro and this government deny that personal data is being gathered by the smeter?

Canada: A Big Data Pilot Project with Smart Meter Data

“From the project description: “In fall 2014, Statistics Canada funded its first big data pilot project. The two key objectives of the project were: 1) to use smart meter data as an example of big data, to explore what is and isn’t feasible, as well as the tools and skills required, and the potential benefits and pitfalls of utilizing data of that magnitude at Statistics Canada, and 2) to test the feasibility of replacing and/or supplementing Statistics Canada’s residential electricity consumption survey data with smart meter data.””

http://datacollaboratives.org/cases/canada-a-big-data-pilot-project-with-smart-meter-data.html

UN Big Data Project Inventory – with Smart Meter Data

“The GWG Big Data Inventory is a catalog of Big Data projects that are relevant for official statistics, SDG indicators and other statistics needed for decision-making on public policies, as well as for management and monitoring of public sector programs/projects. This inventory is a joint product of the World Bank and the United Nations Statistics Division (UNSD) put together on behalf of the UN Global Working Group (GWG) on Big Data for Official Statistics. The tasks related to the content of the inventory are led by the World Bank and UNSD, and the technical side is serviced by the UNSD technical team.”

 https://unstats.un.org/bigdata/inventory/?selectID=201429

4)  Below is an excellent letter written to BC Hydro by a member who just gave me permission to share. Of course, no response has been received.  In this letter, many significant points are made that pertain to many of us, and which reflect many of our concerns. It’s long but well worth reading.

Letters:

Sent: 2018, November 05 1:26 AM
To: Customer, Relations
Subject: REPLY: To BC Hydro letter dated Oct 22, 2018 from Gord Doyle

To Gord Doyle, Senior Manager, Customer service

From: BC Hydro customer XXXXXXX

Re: In response to Gord Doyle’s letter dated Oct 22, 2018

Mr. Doyle:  BC Hydro (BCH) has been attempting for years to coerce me into a smart meter.  As you are yet another new name from BCH that is now writing me I will be as clear with you as all the others;  A smart meter of any type will not be installed on my home for all the reasons laid out in my many many emails to BC Hydro now and in the past.  I do not provide consent.  My reasons are valid.  I perceive smart meters to be a threat to my family’s safety, privacy, property, and represents an infringement upon my rights and freedoms.  I am therefore not willing to assume any risk associated with smart meters when viable alternatives still exist to meter my electricity that BC Hydro is purposefully choosing to ignore and that many other jurisdictions offer to customers that do not consent to smart meters.

If BCH lacks the will, or planning and forethought, to retain, re-certify, or acquire non-smart meters for a well-known number of its ‘legacy meter’ customers, my family should not be made to bear any risk or consequence in being forced to accept a smart meter when Bill Bennett made it very clear: no one will be forced”, “People who want to opt out can”, “They will not be forced to have a smart meter, but they are going to have to pay the costs.”  BCH needs to keep the full scope of ‘choice’ in the meter choices program by continuing to use legacy meters, otherwise there is no meaningful choice left in the program.

If you intend to claim that BCH is not able to find me a proper legacy meter when they are still available is unacceptable conduct from a publicly owned monopoly forcing its agenda.  BCH has the ability to add legacy meters to its inventory, or re-certify a legacy meter, or allow me to purchase a still available legacy type meter, but is purposely choosing not to for this customer who has given BCH valid reasons why I cannot consent to any type of smart meter.  It is only BC Hydro’s business choice, and/or lack of forethought, to not retain just 12,761*** legacy meters removed from over 1.9 million accounts to be used as proper inventory to take respectful care of this well known number of existing legacy meter customers.  Instead, these 1.9 million removed legacy meters were destroyed.  I should not be forced to accept a smart meter due to BC Hydro lack of forethought when the energy minister B. Bennett on July 18, 2013* made the commitment that BC Hydro customers would be allowed the creation of the meter choices program, which included legacy meters, and stated that “no one will be forced to take a smart meter“.  Simply saving 12,761 removed meters or re-certification would allow the meters choices program to retain its full choice to a known number of legacy meter customers.  Any argument that this would not be cost effective is baseless as BC Hydro has 12,761 legacy meter customers paying a collective $5,200,000+ per year to retain legacy meters, meaning to permanently avoid a smart meter, not just to delay one! Also, 12,761 customers have saved BC Hydro the cost of the far more expensive smart meter, which a portion of that savings can be used to either re-certify or purchase legacy meters for these customers. A legacy type meter in no way infringes on the efficient delivery of electricity, and the very existence of the meter choices program shows that smart meters are not essential equipment. Our individual rights and freedoms in our own homes supersede the ambitions of a corporation especially when the metering of electricity has modern viable alternatives beyond the deliberately narrow scope BC Hydro has chosen to dictate.  Despite the Liberal government using both legislation and non-democratic executive orders in council to neuter the BCUC, the very agency the public relies upon to protect itself from a monopoly corporation, a smart meter opt out was finally won and should be properly honoured.

*** official report of the debates of the Legislative Assembly of Monday April 11, 2016. The Minister, Hon. B. Bennett, states for the public record “There are, to answer the member’s specific question, 1.93 million smart meters installed across the province, 12,761 customers have legacy meters, and 661 customers have radio-off meters. Those numbers are as of February 4, 2016.”

* https://archive.news.gov.bc.ca/releases/news_releases_2013-2017/2013MEM0004-001125.htm

Smart meter options announced – British Columbia

archive.news.gov.bc.ca

Smart meter options announced . VICTORIA – Bill Bennett, Minister of Energy and Mines, announced today that BC Hydro will offer new options for customers who have put their smart meters on hold.

Within the link above from July 18, 2013*, Bill Bennett, Minister of Energy and Mines, made the following statement by way of press release announcing BC Hydro’s Meter Choices Program: “As we have said, nobody will be forced to take a smart meter. I believe that this is a fair and reasonable solution for all British Columbians.”  Based upon this clear statement from the minister, I am not to be forced to take a smart meter regardless of the specific choices BC Hydro has made to stop purchasing legacy meters and choosing to not recertify legacy meters.  What would be the point of creating a meter choices program that does not retain the full scope of choice from its inception, especially when the program was created for those BC Hydro customers who do not consent to a smart meter? At the time in announcing the choices program, thousands of account holders were appeased that we would not be forced to take a smart meter of any type – permanently – and not just to delay a smart meter. If we are to be charged the highest opt-out fees in the world, and within BC, to only delay a smart meter you must realize that very few of us would have participated and paid into a program that was only designed as a smart meter ‘delay’ program.  We were paying those extra fees based on the ministers word “that nobody will be forced”.

Will BC Hydro ultimately force me by threat of disconnection? If BC Hydro were to carry out a threat to turn off my power this would put my family at a health, safety, and economic risk, and due to BC Hydro being a monopoly I cannot obtain electricity from any other provider.  I need you to reassure me that I am not to be forced to take a smart meter, otherwise the meter choices program was created in deceit and I have wasted my families money participating in a program that does not keep to what was clearly stated.  I do not see how very clear statements by the minister can be construed as only temporarily true, or have some honestly expiry date.  If I am not to be forced to take a smart meter then BC Hydro should be made to stop its threats to install a smart meter and find me a legacy meter which I know are still in production as many other jurisdictions have chosen not to use smart meters. 

Based upon the fact that BCH has clear access to my meter and I am not “preventing or obstructing access” will BCH disconnect my power due to my lack of consent due to the threat to person and property that I perceive from any type of smart meter?Please do not quote section 9.5 of the Tariff, as I am not “preventing or obstructing access”.   What I am doing within all my replies to BCH over the years is to state that I do not consent to a smart meter of any kind and for BCH to keep the minister to his word that “no one will be forced”.

As BC Hydro has once again been notified to not attempt to install any smart meter type, I therefore will not be made responsible to pay any non-installation fees as BC Hydro is aware not to show up unless an appointment is made and a non-wireless capable / non-smart meter is made available for this customer.  There is no tariff based response to deny my requirement of BCH to make an appointment to change my meter. It may be BC Hydro policy to attempt to avoid appointments with its customers, however you do make them when required.  Therefore my policy stands, BCH is required by this customer to make a scheduled appointment.  The past offers made for the potential of a phone call by the installers the day before is not sufficient for me to make the arrangements I need to make sure I am available to be home and to have my electrician scheduled to attend.  My reasons are valid and a meter change is a very rare event.  Do not have anyone show up unless we have made a mutually agreed upon appointment date.  I will therefore continue to not be responsible to pay any non-installation fees if anyone shows up without an appointment when BCH has been repeatedly notified.

I do not consent to my meter being disconnected under load because of unnecessary risk to my person and property.  I have equipment that will be damaged if power is abruptly disconnected, especially when an appointment would allow me to have the devices turned off, like I do when its stormy.   I also require my personal electrician to be present during a meter exchange so that a qualified professional can inspect my base plate that BCH states is my responsibility but I have no opportunity to ever have it inspected.  In the past BCH has stated: “ all our meter installers are qualified.”  I want any electrical threat, and my base plate, to be assessed by a qualified electrician and not someone who took a 2 week meter change course.  BC Hydro may have deemed an electrician is not required but they also assume no risk^^^, instead, all risk of the installers lack of qualifications and experience falls on the property owner.  So, as the Tariff protects BC Hydro from responsibility and risk, my family and property is therefore left to assume all risk related to the changing of a meter and inspection of my base plate. When fires were linked with meter exchange BC hydro made it clear that the meter base is the responsibility of the home owner, but I have no authority to remove a meter to inspect it, so the appointment would be the only way to allow my electrician to be present to inspect the meter base along with BC Hydro. If your installer is not an insured qualified electrician so I would be left with their ‘unqualified’ best guess on the status of my base plate.

^^^under BC Hydro Tariff Section 97, “Liability”, BC Hydro has no responsibility for any harm or injury done by its employees or agents, whether done through negligence or wilful misconduct.

Unlike analogue meters, BC Hydro smart meters are made of Combustible materials and have Lithium batteries, Thinner blades, and unbelievably have no surge arresters.   All of this leaves my home and family more vulnerable than with a legacy meter.  I’m sure BC Hydro will argue that there is no increased risk, but when smart meters have been implicated in fires^^^^ elsewhere leading to mass removal, it remains my determination as to what risk my home and family is exposed to, especially when risk is very easily avoided with alternatives.  In Summary, it’s my policy that I will not accept a meter change and inspection of my base plate without my electrician present.  From my standpoint this is a personal safety issue and I therefore require an appointment to protect my family and home.

^^^^http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/saskatchewan/saskpower-to-remove-105-000-smart-meters-following-fires-1.2723046

^^^^http://www.utilitydive.com/news/pge-replacing-70000-smart-meters-after-three-catch-fire/290865/

^^^^https://www.thestar.com/news/queenspark/2015/01/22/thousands-of-smart-meters-in-ontario-to-be-removed-over-safety-worries.html

^^^^http://www.tedmag.com/News/channel-news/Truck-Crash-Causes-Smart-Meters-to-Explode.aspx     or  https://sacramento.cbslocal.com/2015/03/30/stockton-smart-meters-explode-after-truck-causes-power-surge/

^^^^http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/quebec-city-firefighters-ask-hydro-qu%C3%A9bec-to-leave-smart-meters-alone-1.2983309

 Please do not claim that risk is shared?  I don’t see how any risk is shared by BCH if you force a smart meter on to my home.  I assume all increased risk to my person and property with a smart meter due to the unnecessary collection and storage of real time electricity use that BCH does not even require to collect and store in order to bill me for usage.  Additionally under BC Hydro Tariff Section 97, “Liability”, BC Hydro has no responsibility for any harm or injury done by its employees or agents, whether done through negligence or wilful misconduct so BCH is indemnified but I am not.  Therefore the risk of a smart meter is not shared risk, instead all risk is unwillingly and likely unknowingly transferred solely to the public. BCH’s forceful installation of a smart meter would put my family at unnecessary security risk while providing no tangible benefit in return for that security risk.  You may try to claim “smart meters don’t give us any more information about you”  but have you seen the data a smart meter collects compared to the single data point of a legacy meter?  Have a look at example smart meter data below and see if you could use it to predict when and for how long the home might be vacant, or when occupants might be sleeping?  It unquestionably gives far more information to those motivated to obtain this data verses a legacy meter.    (data can be found at https://smartgridawareness.org/2013/10/03/smart-meter-data-reveals/)

http://www.stopsmartmetersbc.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/Electrical-Power-Consumption-in-15-Minute-Intervals-for-Naperville-Resident-April-2627-2013.jpg

Multiple days of this data can be used to predict occupancy and activity.  I perceive this detailed level of data gathering surveillance a clear and unnecessary invasion of privacy, and a threat to both personal security and the security for home and property.  When I signed up to obtain electricity from BC Hydro, I did not consent to have a ‘surveillance’ like device attached to my home, and I do not consent now.  Since I am on a fixed rate pricing program for electrical energy usage, there is no business basis for BC Hydro to collect thousands of data points per month.  BC Hydro only needs one data point every 2 months to be able to calculate my monthly bill.  I can already easily tell when I’m using electricity and my ever increasing energy bill motivates me to conserve, so extra data points to measure my usage will not improve my conservation, just add unnecessary risk.****

****“Very sensitive information can be revealed about homes, and homes are the most sacred privacy environment,”  “Most consumers are just unaware about how their data feeds into the Big Data machine and are powerless to do much about it.”  Nancy King, an Oregon State University business law and ethics academic studying smart meter deployments.

BC Hydro’s claim to protect our personal information is essentially just an “attempt” limited to the extent that their systems and inherently vulnerable smart meters allow.  Many corporations make the same claim that their networks are secure, however history clearly shows many have been hacked and BC Hydro cannot be predicted to be the exception or some how uniquely immune*.  BCH may be appeased by the words of the privacy commissioner, however BCH assumes no liability!  Its only the home owner who is placed at greater risk by the installation of a smart meter.  The privacy commissioner cannot provide consent to BCH on my behalf to collect and store unnecessary real time usage data, only I can.  Other customers may be OK with assuming all the increased risk associated with a smart meter but I am not, nor do I grant consent for BC hydro to collect data that it does not even need!

* https://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2009/07/28/toronto_hydro_admits_customer_data_breach.html “179,000 Toronto Hydro customer account numbers were illegally accessed in the company’s electronic billing system.

* http://www.bankinfosecurity.com/top-data-breaches-2014-a-7736  Top security breaches of 2014: hundreds of millions of people affected 

* http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/personal-data-online-5-of-the-biggest-security-breaches-1.2514287

* http://www.acfcs.org/the-top-8-largest-data-breaches-in-the-financial-services-industry/

* http://thinkprogress.org/security/2013/12/31/3108661/10-biggest-privacy-security-breaches-rocked-2013/

* http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2012/10/13/td-bank-security-breach-may-have-affected-260000-customers/

* http://time.com/3710529/hackers-1-billion-bank-breach/ Thieves have infiltrated more than 100 banks in 30 countries over the past two years

I have multiple reasons why I refuse a smart meter.  Most poignant is if BC Hydro was to install a smart meter against my will or I simply capitulated, I could be deemed to be consenting to current and future applications of the smart meter!  I don’t consent to the unnecessary collection of my electricity use in real time and its broadcast by a smart meter.  Hacked hourly usage history can be used to predict when my home has no occupants and BC hydro does not need that level of information to bill me for electricity. I also do not consent to any meter that has an embedded 2nd wireless transmitter (like the additional ZigBee radio transmitter in BCH smart meters) that can communicate with, monitor, and perhaps one day remotely control my appliances. I also would never consent to a smart meter if one day it was part of a Wi-Fi network like the one that has already been put into use in Santa Clara California**. I know that BCH will assert these future smart meter uses are not part of their ‘current’ plan, but smart meters are capable of these and other applications that might appear in future BC Hydro plans or be specifically forced by more special government ‘executive orders’.  For example, radio-off meter customers would have no recourse if the government again used executive orders to force all radio-off smart meters to be activated, or if the tariff was amended to change the definition of what radio-off is.  Therefore, if I was to capitulate or be forced to accept a smart meter now, I may be giving up my future rights to refuse potential future applications of smart meters.

**  Silicon Valley city  Wi-Fi via smart meters: http://news.cnet.com/8301-1023_3-57576712-93/silicon-valley-city-offers-free-wi-fi-via-smart-meters/

 I cannot in good conscience consent to a smart meter of any type being installed on my home for all the reasons laid out in my many emails to BC hydro now and in the past.  I perceive a threat to my property and mostly to my families safety + privacy and I am therefore not willing to assume any risk associated with smart meters when viable alternatives exist to meter my electricity that BC Hydro is purposefully choosing to ignore.   I consider any type of forced smart meter installation on my home an infringement upon my rights and freedoms and clearly goes against the statements of the minister who stated “no one will be forced.”

Many other Jurisdictions in North America have chosen to not adopt smart meters and those customers still have meters!  Other jurisdictions that are using smart meters are treating there opt out customers with proper respect by charging them far less and to keep legacy meters permanently!.

So, what solution can BC Hydro provide this customer that does not expose me to the risk of any type of smart meter and still allows BC hydro to collect the bare minimum of data required to bill me for my electricity use?

XXXXXX

Account number: XXXXXXX

November 5th, 2018 1:26 AM

 

Sharon Noble, Director, Coalition to Stop Smart Meters

“We can´t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them”     A. Einstein

www.stopsmartmetersbc.com