Privacy Enhancing Technologies for the Smart Grid

October 04, 2011


The best way to gain consumer trust and protect against privacy and security risks is to store only data that cannot be considered personal in the first place. This is where modern Privacy Enhancing Technologies (PETs) come to play, by allowing access to the data needed to provide a service without exposing any other information. This puts into practice the core principles of “privacy by design”, a concept originally proposed by the privacy commissioner
of Ontario and which rapidly gained traction within the European Commission. The Expert Group 2, under the Smart Grids Task Force of the European Commission, has further elaborated the privacy and security concepts and published its recommendations. The findings of this paper are supported by these recommendations.

The PETs discussed here minimize the amount of exposed data, are embedded in the design and are always active. The technologies protect users’ privacy while having a positive effect on the business, and there is no reason why Privacy Enhancing Technologies should not be implemented in the current environment.