Surveillance Capitalism Includes Utility “Smart” Meters. Utility Companies Collect Customer Usage Data 24/7. Are Yours Selling It to 3rd Parties?

By B.N. Frank

Recently, Harvard professor Shoshana Zuboff published a new book called The Age of Surveillance Capitalism which reveals how businesses not only offer services to customers – they collect personal data on them in order to sell it to 3rd parties.  Much of this is done without customer knowledge or consent.

If no one comes to read your electric, gas, and/or water meters, it’s likely that you have what are commonly known as “Smart” Meters (though they aren’t always referred to that way by utility companies).

Tens of millions of “Smart” Meters have already been installed throughout the U.S. and around the world.  They are associated with so many issues (including fires, explosions, adverse health effects, cybersecurity risks, malfunctioning appliances, inflated bills) and complaints (including privacy violations, unwanted surveillance, frequent replacement) that in 2013, a documentary was produced, Take Back Your Power.  It was updated in 2017 and is free to watch below.

“Smart”  Meters allow utility companies to keep track of exactly when and for how long you use your gas, water, and electricity – and even which appliances you are using.  Creepy, isn’t it.  This was not possible with original analog meters.

Urjanet’s technology is used to track cost and usage information from 4,000 utilities in 30 countries. That data collected from electric, gas, telecommunications, water, and waste providers, is used by small- and medium-sized businesses, and multinational companies, to automate accounting and bill processing, manage energy costs, and comply with reporting regulations, the company said.

Do you wonder when it became any of their business when you watch TV, flush the toilet, or turn up the furnace?  You didn’t tell them they could do this, right?  There is no logical reason why they would bother spending time and energy collecting detailed personal information on you, your loved ones, and everyone else if they didn’t plan to make money from doing so – like perhaps by selling this information to 3rd parties.

Creepy, indeed.

For more information on utility “Smart” Meters, visit the following websites:

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