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How a smart meter knows what I’m watching

Menno van Doorn
January 15, 2013

Last year Researchers of from Münster University of Applied Sciences demonstrated that consumers can be identified via the data collected by a smart meter, from the types and amount of devices, TV shows being watched and scan for copyright-protected (or pirated) movies. If you want to see how they predict what movie you are watching, based on data form your smart meter, start at  approx 14:40 minutes. The video is called “Smart Hacking For Privacy” The brightness of the backlight influences the energy use and is refelcted in the data that go to the smart meter. The fact that smart meters collect data every two seconds makes it possible to get very accurate graphs. That’s how they are able to recognize patterns in energy use and compare with patterns in a movie database. What’s your opinion? Should we keep these Privacy Intrusive Technologies out of our homes? Or should we fix the problems with Privacy Enhancing Technologies? Here’s what I think. Fix it: we need a smarter grid.

About the author

Director and Trend Analyst VINT | Netherlands
Menno is Director of the Sogeti Research Institute for the Analysis of New Technology (VINT). He mixes personal life experiences with the findings of the 19 years of research done at the VINT Research Institute. Menno has co-authored many books on the impact of new technology on business and society. This is the list of the books and research project he has worked on: Making IT-Governance Work Ope

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