The ACLU really needs to take that “civil liberties” thing out of their name, because that’s hardly their focus. It’s just false advertising. The ACLU couldn’t give a flying fart about the restrictive and unconstitutional gun laws of New York state, but they are very concerned that new “smart” electricity meters are violating people’s civil rights. I must have missed that amendment about people having the right to “stupid” electricity meters in the Constitution.
CBS 2 reports that residents of Great Plains, NY are getting newfangled smart meters installed at their homes:
Unlike the meter on most homes, smart meters send data from your home back to the power company every 15 minutes. Utilities don’t just learn how much power you use; they can also be alerted in real-time to an outage caused by bad weather.
And while this sounds like a completely nothing story, there is maybe something sinister going on:
There are new privacy concerns over a device that tracks how much power you use in your house.
Some experts say smart meters could reveal more than what you want known about what goes on inside your home…
The smart meter’s ability to talk back to the utility has some people concerned information about their lifestyle and habits at home could fall into the wrong hands…
I know the news said “experts” are concerned about this but what they really meant was one uptight doofus from the ACLU.
“I don’t know what their capabilities are. We do know smart meters produce data that has enough granularity that experts are able to go in and tell what kind of appliances people are using,” said senior policy analyst for the ACLU Jay Stanley.
Yeah, you really don’t establish yourself as an expert by saying you don’t know how something works and then claim you know how it works.
Just for the sake of argument, let’s say this ACLU kook is correct and smart meters allow people with specialized skills to determine what kind of appliances people are running in their homes. So what? Is it an invasion of privacy if the electric company knows you have a refrigerator and a microwave?
Then there’s the issue of the ACLU saying this information could fall into “the wrong hands.” Again, who gives a shit? Is the ACLU worried that a public utility company may sell information that its customers have the same appliances everyone else does to a private company? If so, what is the harm? Is there a “Nigerian Prince” scam involving people who own coffee makers?
As it turns out the ACLU “expert” is completely wrong.
“We will not be able to understand or tell what appliances are being used within the home, how much each appliance has consumed, as far as energy goes,” said a representative from Rockland Electric.
The only thing smart meters do is put meter readers out of work and give consumers an accurate utility bill every month. They way they did it before was that a meter reader would come around every so often and then the electric company would estimate how much electricity a person was using for months at a time before getting a correct reading and adjusting the bill.
Meanwhile, if the ACLU really wants to find some civil rights violations in New York to bitch about, maybe they should take a look at the state’s gun control laws. Oh yeah, I forgot they count to 10 by skipping 2.