Dec 032010
 
 December 3, 2010  Court, Non-U.S., Surveillance

Alan Shanoff has this editorial  about a recent ruling that a consumer had no reasonable expectation of privacy in his electricity consumption data:

… The question for the Supreme Court of Canada was simple: Should police have obtained prior judicial authorization allowing it to obtain data on Gomboc’s energy consumption. The answer to this question turns on whether there is a reasonable expectation of privacy in relation to the consumption data. The Supremes ruled 7-2 there was no reasonable expectation of privacy, but they came to this conclusion in an odd fashion.

Four judges ruled there could be no reasonable expectation of privacy, as the consumption data does not reveal any “intimate details of the lifestyle and personal choices” of any occupant and Gomboc didn’t tell Enmax he wanted his consumption data kept private.

Three judges based their ruling solely on the fact that Gomboc could have, but did not, advise Enmax he did not wish to have his consumption data released to the police.

The remaining two judges dissented on the basis the consumption data was capable of predicting or revealing personal information thereby resulting in a reasonable expectation of privacy.

Read more in the Tribune.