CANADA-Does Ontario need to boost Smart Meter security and privacy?

Does Ontario need to boost Smart Meter security and privacy? NDP MPP to introduce bill at Queen’s Park pushing province to set and enforce Smart Meter security and privacy standards 3 0 Posted on 11/10/2015 by Russ Courtney Peter Tabuns NDP MPP Peter Tabuns is calling on the provincial government to boost the security of smart meters and install privacy protections to prevent hackers and possibly terrorists accessing the electricity grid.The NDP’s Energy Critic will introduce a bill at Queen’s Park next week pushing the Liberals to “set and enforce standards for cyber security and privacy protection.”Tabuns says there are examples in other jurisdictions, including Puerto Rico and Spain, where hackers could access smart meters to mask electricity use (resulting in million of dollars of revenue for the utility) and access the larger grid.The MPP says we need to boost security in Ontario so taxpayers aren’t forced to pay more to cover a loss in the event of widespread concealing of energy usage and to ensure the safety of the grid.Tabuns says he’s not sure what the cost of his bill would be if implemented by the government.He is also calling for enhanced privacy protection as hackers could analyze electricity use (even specific use like how long you use certain devices/appliances for) by gaining access to a smart meter.Tabuns suggests that information could be handed over to advertisers or marketers, or be used by criminals to determine when families are likely to be home or not. A spokesperson for Energy Minister Bob Chiarelli says it’s too early to say whether or not the government will support the MPP’s bill because they haven’t seen it yet. The government says Smart Meters are only allowed to sent “anonymous consumption data” and it has taken steps to prevent unauthorized access to Smart Meters and is working with the private sector to ensure that data from the meters is “protected and secure.” –

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