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CPUC Focuses on Smart Grid

ONLINE PRIVACY—U.S.

March 23, 2010

The California Public Utilities Commission (PUC) held a three-day hearing last week to explore smart grid policies, Earth2Tech reports. Among other topics, participants discussed ways to mitigate privacy risks. Jim Dempsey of the Center for Democracy and Technology said one solution is to minimize the amount of consumer data collected and allow consumers control over how that data is used. But others noted that the push to minimize data could become problematic, given recent innovations by companies like Microsoft and Google to create home energy management systems open to third-party developers. Meanwhile, U.S. Rep. Edward Markey (D-MA) introduced a bill this week that would mandate giving Americans "free, timely and secure data about their electricity prices and usage patterns."
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