Security Is Not Enough! On Privacy Challenges in Smart Grids

Author(s): Florian Skopik
AIT Austrian Institute of Technology, 2444 Seibersdorf, Austria
International Journal of Smart Grid and Clean Energy, vol. 1, no. 1, September 2012: pp. 7–14
ISSN: 2315-4462
Digital Object Identifier: 10.12720/sgce.1.1.7-14

Abstract: Smart Grid solutions are being rolled out at large scale these days. While security concerns are addressed on various levels and sophisticated technical measures applied, privacy issues are still not fully understood yet. The generation of high-frequency meter readings exposes customers to new threats. Various politic initiatives thus aim towards a strong regulatory framework to enable an appropriate protection of the customers' privacy. We argue that finally the only effective measure is to avoid the production of personalized fine-grained meter readings. However, it is important to study the impact of available technical privacy protection concepts on smart grid services, including demand management, load forecasting and energy theft protection, which typically rely on these data. Therefore, in this paper we outline the privacy challenge and the concept of privacy-by-design. In particular, we discuss privacy protection methods and compare them in terms of applicability and impact on smart grid services.
Keywords: Smart grid privacy, meter readings exploitation, data obfuscation, privacy-by-design

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