+ Reply to Thread
Results 1 to 5 of 5

Thread: Smart Meters Violate 4th Amendment: Landmark Decision

  1. Link to Post #1
    United States Avalon Member Michelle Marie's Avatar
    Join Date
    5th June 2011
    Location
    Oregon
    Posts
    2,630
    Thanks
    27,304
    Thanked 16,938 times in 2,584 posts

    Default Smart Meters Violate 4th Amendment: Landmark Decision

    WIN! Landmark Seventh Circuit Decision Says Fourth Amendment Applies to Smart Meter Data

    https://www.technocracy.news/win-lan...rt-meter-data/

    Written By: Jamie Williams August 25, 2018

    A major Appeals Court has ruled that Smart Meters violate your protection of illegal search and seizure under the Fourth Amendment. Depending on what citizens around the nation do with this ruling, it could potentially send Technocracy back into the last century where it belongs.

    "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.” – Fourth Amendment, U.S. Constitution ⁃ TN Editor

    The Seventh Circuit just handed down a landmark opinion, ruling 3-0 that the Fourth Amendment protects energy-consumption data collected by smart meters. Smart meters collect energy usage data at high frequencies—typically every 5, 15, or 30 minutes—and therefore know exactly how much electricity is being used, and when, in any given household. The court recognized that data from these devices reveals intimate details about what’s going on inside the home that would otherwise be unavailable to the government without a physical search. The court held that residents have a reasonable expectation of privacy in this data and that the government’s access of it constitutes a “search.”

    This case, Naperville Smart Meter Awareness v. City of Naperville, is the first case addressing whether the Fourth Amendment protects smart meter data. Courts have in the past held that the Fourth Amendment does not protect monthly energy usage readings from traditional, analog energy meters, the predecessors to smart meters. The lower court in this case applied that precedent to conclude that smart meter data, too, was unprotected as a matter of law. On appeal, EFF and Privacy International filed an amicus brief urging the Seventh Circuit to reconsider this dangerous ruling. And in its decision, released last week, the Seventh Circuit wisely recognized that smart meters and analog meters are different:

    “Using traditional energy meters, utilities typically collect monthly energy consumption in a single lump figure once per month. By contrast, smart meters record consumption much more frequently, often collecting thousands of readings every month. Due to this frequency, smart meters show both the amount of electricity being used inside a home and when that energy is used.”

    The Seventh Circuit recognized that this energy usage data “reveals information about the happenings inside a home.” Individual appliances, the court explained, have distinct energy-consumption patterns or “load signatures.” These load signatures allow you to tell not only when people are home, but what they are doing. The court held that the “ever-accelerating pace of technological development carries serious privacy implications” and that smart meters “are no exception.”

    This is critical precedent. Last year, roughly 65 million smart meters had been installed in the United States in recent years, with 88% of them—over 57 million—in homes of American consumers; more than 40% of American households had a smart meter. Experts predict that number will reach about 80% by 2020. And law enforcement agencies are already trying to get access to data from energy companies without a warrant.

    In this case, a group of citizens called Naperville Smart Meter Awareness challenged Naperville’s policy of requiring every home to have a smart meter, objecting on Fourth Amendment and other grounds. The district court held that smart meter data—despite being collected directly a city utility, not any non-governmental third party—was subject to the so-called “third party doctrine.” In other words, the lower court reasoned that simply because the utility company held the data, it was automatically devoid of constitutional protection.

    The Seventh Circuit reversed the district court’s decision, holding that the third party doctrine did not apply. The court first noted that application of the third party doctrine would make no sense in this case. The city itself collected the data; there was no third party. The court then cited the Supreme Court’s recent decision in Carpenter v. United States, which rejectedthe third party doctrine in a case involving cell site location information. In Carpenter, the Supreme Court held that this antiquated doctrine does not apply to the exhaustive stores of personal information information collected today by wireless carriers, which can be used “detailed chronicle of a person’s physical presence compiled every day, every moment over years.” The Court reasoned that people do not “voluntarily ‘assume the risk’ of turning over a comprehensive dossier of physical movements” just by choosing to use a cell phone. The Seventh Circuit held that the same goes for smart meter data: “a home occupant does not assume the risk of near constant monitoring by choosing to have electricity in her home.” As the court explained, the third-party doctrine rests on “the notion that an individual has a reduced expectation of privacy in information knowingly shared with another” and “in this context, a choice to share data imposed by fiat is no choice at all.”

    After concluding that smart meter data is protected by the Fourth Amendment, the Seventh Circuit next assessed whether the municipal utility’s “search” was reasonable. The court, after weighing the city’s interest in collecting the data with the residents’ privacy interest, concluded that the city’s collection of smart meter data in this context was reasonable. The court explained that smart meters play a crucial role in the modernization of the energy grid, allow utilities to restore service more quickly when power goes, permit utilities to offer time-based pricing to reduce the strain on the grid by encouraging consumers to shift usage away from peak demand periods, and reduce utilities’ labor costs because home visits are needed less frequently.

    Critically, the court noted that its analysis would be different if Naperville conducted the search with “prosecutorial intent,” if the search was conducted by law enforcement instead of the city’s public utility, or if the data was more easily accessible to law enforcement or other city officials outside the utility. The court cited the city’s policy of not providing customer data to third parties—including law enforcement—without a warrant or court order. The court also noted that its conclusion might also change if the city were to collect data at intervals shorter than every 15 minutes.

    The court did, however, chide the city for failing to give residents the option of keeping traditional meters: “Naperville could have avoided this controversy—and may still avoid future uncertainty—by giving its residents a genuine opportunity to consent to the installation of smart meters, as many other utilities have.”

    We applaud the Seventh Circuit for recognizing that smart meters pose serious risks to the privacy of all of our homes, and that rotely applying analog-era case law to the digital age simply doesn’t work. We hope that courts around the country follow the Seventh Circuit in concluding that the Fourth Amendment protects smart meter data.

    Special thanks to David Gulbransen, pro bono counsel for the plaintiff, for his hard work on this landmark victory.


    Nice!!!

    MM
    Last edited by Michelle Marie; 26th August 2018 at 21:55.
    ~*~ "The best way to predict the future is to create it." - Peter Drucker ~*~ “To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children...to leave the world a better place...to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson ~*~ "Creative minds always have been known to survive any kind of bad training." - Anna Freud ~*~

  2. The Following 29 Users Say Thank You to Michelle Marie For This Post:

    Arcturian108 (27th August 2018), Bayareamom (27th August 2018), Blacklight43 (26th August 2018), cascadian (26th August 2018), David Trd1 (26th August 2018), enigma3 (27th August 2018), Foxie Loxie (27th August 2018), Hervé (26th August 2018), Jad (26th August 2018), justntime2learn (26th August 2018), KiwiElf (26th August 2018), Kryztian (27th August 2018), lisalu (27th August 2018), meeradas (28th August 2018), MinImLi (28th August 2018), mpennery (27th August 2018), Noelle (26th August 2018), O Donna (28th August 2018), onawah (26th August 2018), Orph (26th August 2018), Rain (26th August 2018), Sadieblue (27th August 2018), silverchimes (26th August 2018), Sunny-side-up (26th August 2018), Tintin (28th August 2018), toppy (27th August 2018), Valerie Villars (26th August 2018), what is a name? (27th August 2018), wondering (26th August 2018)

  3. Link to Post #2
    United States Avalon Member Valerie Villars's Avatar
    Join Date
    16th November 2017
    Age
    57
    Posts
    2,414
    Thanks
    20,413
    Thanked 15,160 times in 2,365 posts

    Default Re: Smart Meters Violate 4th Amendment: Landmark Decision

    That's a great victory. It gives me hope we can fight back and win.

    I spearheaded a fight against EMF's and a electrical power station they wanted to put next door to the condo's I lived in, back in the early 90's. The local company, Cleco, were banking on no one making a peep before they swooped in, cut all the trees down and put a mind numbingly ugly and dangerous power station next door.

    I happened to see the little zoning change sign they posted, called about it and found out our health and neighborhood beauty were about to go downhill, so we could give more electricity to the exclusive, gated and expensive subdivision across the road.

    We won in a way and we fought a long time. They ended up leaving all the trees, putting up a nice brick wall and making the plant invisible.

    It pays to care and to fight legally.
    "The only true currency in this bankrupt world is what we share with someone when we are uncool." From the movie "Almost Famous""l "Let yourself stand cool and composed before a million universes." Walt Whitman

  4. The Following 19 Users Say Thank You to Valerie Villars For This Post:

    David Trd1 (26th August 2018), Foxie Loxie (27th August 2018), justntime2learn (26th August 2018), KiwiElf (26th August 2018), Kryztian (27th August 2018), lisalu (27th August 2018), Michelle Marie (26th August 2018), MinImLi (28th August 2018), mpennery (27th August 2018), Noelle (26th August 2018), O Donna (28th August 2018), onawah (26th August 2018), Orph (26th August 2018), Rain (26th August 2018), silverchimes (26th August 2018), Sunny-side-up (26th August 2018), Tintin (28th August 2018), toppy (27th August 2018), wondering (26th August 2018)

  5. Link to Post #3
    Germany Avalon Member
    Join Date
    31st May 2010
    Location
    SW Germany
    Age
    64
    Posts
    1,686
    Thanks
    2,270
    Thanked 8,495 times in 1,584 posts

    Default Re: Smart Meters Violate 4th Amendment: Landmark Decision

    @Michelle

    let's hope the appeal does some good :-)

    Larry

  6. The Following 9 Users Say Thank You to Cardillac For This Post:

    Foxie Loxie (27th August 2018), justntime2learn (26th August 2018), KiwiElf (26th August 2018), Michelle Marie (26th August 2018), Noelle (26th August 2018), Tintin (28th August 2018), toppy (27th August 2018), Valerie Villars (27th August 2018), wondering (26th August 2018)

  7. Link to Post #4
    United States Avalon Member
    Join Date
    22nd December 2016
    Age
    61
    Posts
    106
    Thanks
    54
    Thanked 546 times in 95 posts

    Smile Re: Smart Meters Violate 4th Amendment: Landmark Decision

    Great news.

    Thanks Michelle.

  8. The Following 7 Users Say Thank You to bobme For This Post:

    Foxie Loxie (27th August 2018), KiwiElf (26th August 2018), Michelle Marie (26th August 2018), Tintin (28th August 2018), toppy (27th August 2018), Valerie Villars (27th August 2018), wondering (26th August 2018)

  9. Link to Post #5
    Canada Avalon Member
    Join Date
    23rd September 2017
    Posts
    479
    Thanks
    17
    Thanked 1,473 times in 395 posts

    Default Re: Smart Meters Violate 4th Amendment: Landmark Decision

    "After concluding that smart meter data is protected by the Fourth Amendment, the Seventh Circuit next assessed whether the municipal utility’s “search” was reasonable. "

    So the collecting of our data is reasonable according to the article. They just can't use the data to prosecute a crime.

    ¤=[Post Update]=¤

    "The court, after weighing the city’s interest in collecting the data with the residents’ privacy interest, concluded that the city’s collection of smart meter data in this context was reasonable."

    Where's the big victory?

  10. The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to TomKat For This Post:

    Bob (27th August 2018), meeradas (28th August 2018), O Donna (28th August 2018)

+ Reply to Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts