In many parts of the US (and maybe in Canada, too) there seems to be significant backlash against the idea of utilities using smart meters in consumers’ homes.
The concerns seem based around paranoid beliefs in four areas:
Many of the meters use UHF radio to transmit their data, and some are concerned about the health risks (as opposed to their smart phones, satellite TV, microwave oven, etc.)
The meters transmit information about your usage (duh), which some see as an invasion of privacy (though they do not seem to object to their phone company monitoring usage in real-time)
There are fears that the utilities will use this as a way to charge consumers more for electricity if they use it during peak times
There are fears that the utility could unilaterally control some portion of your usage (heat, lights, etc.)
Here is a link to an opinion piece that talks about this (from the perspective of someone fighting the backlash). It is an interesting read – I had never even considered that there would be such a backlash against smart meters.
This is absolutely ridiculous. Another example of our government sticking their noses into things that are none of their damn business. Whether smoking is bad for me or not, it is none of the government’s business if I do it in an environment which is not harming anyone else (I do not smoke, by the way).
If they can give a ticket to a truck driver for smoking in his own truck with no one else around, what is next? Will they come into my house and give me a ticket because I work from home?
It is long past time to stand up to our governments and stop them from invading our privacy. It is none of the government’s business if I smoke when I am by myself. It is none of government’s business if I wear a helmet on my motorcycle, or a seatbelt in my car. I wear both helmets and seatbelts because I am a compulsive “rule follower”, but I should not have to. It is none of the governments business if I want to watch TV purchased from south of the border, without the CRTC’s interference. I should even be able to smoke a little marijuana if I so choose (I do not do that either).
Just think of all of the money our various levels of government could save if they would just stay the hell out of things which are none of their concern!
From what I have seen of the various services which collect information, most seem to be collecting information to improve the OS, adapt to threats, or protect the intellectual property contained within the software (I am not arguing for or against the IP protection, but if you installed the OS, you accepted the EULA, and are bound by it – no one forced you to do so).
Despite the deep paranoia of the various conspiracy theorists, Microsoft really has little use for most of your personal information, and it is not really worth the time or effort to collect it. You are not that important.
Unless you are doing something illegal, none of the information collected is a threat to you.
It is interesting and ironic that a site posting this article to help protect all of us from evil Microsoft collecting our information, requires you to register and provide your eMail address in order to post a comment.
That in a world where much of our personal information, communications, and movement is tracked in great detail (and with questionable legality) that people can get this excited about anything Microsoft might be collecting!