In 2011, Lockstep Consulting was engaged by the Department of Primary Industries (DPI) to undertake a Privacy Impact Assessment of Victoria’s smart metering program. The scope of the Lockstep PIA Report is “the smart metering program in general, with the objective of establishing whether the program as overseen by DPI properly anticipated the privacy impacts of introducing interval metering, remote communication and control capabilities to domestic customers, and whether the management and design of the new metering system provides for adequate controls over Personal Information”.
The Minister for Energy and Resources wrote requesting that the Commission:
- Consider the relevant findings and recommendations of the Lockstep report and review, accordingly, the regulatory requirements on Retailers and Distributors;
- Require electricity Retailers and Distributors to ensure that they comply with privacy standards and procedures in relation to smart meter data in accordance with their licence requirements; and
- Publish a fact sheet on the YourChoice website advising customers how personal information is handled securely by Retailers and Distributors;
- Liaise with the Department of Primary Industries on the development of a framework within which third parties may provide smart meter enabled products and services while protecting the rights and interests of customers.
After discussions with DPI, the Commission released an Information request seeking industry submissions in relation to sixteen of the recommendations. The remaining eight recommendations are to be considered by other regulatory agencies.