Issues Smart Grid

Smart Grid

Smart Grid Privacy Seal

The Future of Privacy Forum and TRUSTe Launch a Smart Grid Privacy Seal Program

The Future of Privacy Forum has developed a first of its kind privacy seal program for companies providing services to consumers that rely on energy data. The seal is powered by TRUSTe, a leading data privacy management company.

Consumer services that access information about a consumer’s use of energy can provide great value. But, access to that information comes with responsibility. Companies need to follow best practices so that consumers, regulators, and utilities can be sure that personal information is handled with respect. This program provides the oversight and assurance that is needed to assure consumer trust.

  • Consumers: This seal helps to ensure that that a company’s practices have been vetted and that consumers will have an avenue for complaint handling and resolution if something goes wrong.
  • Regulators: Regulators appreciate the additional level of oversight provided by this seal. By participating companies legally commit to responsible practices based on Fair Information Practices informed by the best practices issued by state commissions, NAESB, and NIST.
  • Utilities: By encouraging third parties to display the seal you help consumers access the information they need to make smart privacy decisions.

What does the seal cover?: This seal covers companies that seek to access consumer energy data. That access to energy data can be from a device like a smart appliance, thermostat or smart meter or it can be from a company that seeks access to energy data from the utility. The seal does not cover utility collection or use of data for billing, operations, demand response, etc. To display the seal you must agree to the Smart Grid Privacy Guidelines.

I applaud the Future of Privacy Forum’s new privacy seal program which will help to ensure that personal consumer-usage data is strongly protected. The seal is a reflection of Privacy by
Design which requires that aproactive approach be taken. PbD recognizes that privacy is best assured when it is strategically interwoven into operational processes and business practices,” ~ Dr. Ann Cavoukian, Ontario’s Information and Privacy Commissioner and an international leader in privacy issues.

Find out more: If you are a company offering home energy management, remote home control or security, smart thermostats and other services that seek to access consumer energy data, contact us at info@futureofprivacy.org for more information.

Additional Resources

More details about the program are also available at: http://www.truste.com/consumer-privacy/TRUSTed-smart-grid

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