Smart grids and ethics: A case study

Where do government regulations, privacy, big data, and the management of the energy grid infrastructure collide? The implementation and management of modern smart grids, that’s where. In this 2019 paper by Hatzakis et al., a major distribution system operator (DSO) in the Netherlands is at the heart of discovering how Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) are affecting modern implementations of smart energy grids. From cybersecurity risks to public concerns about the privacy of their energy data, this article reviews various ethical issues, concluding with “the need for clarification in practice of privacy policies (particularly of GDPR) to lift concerns about the capability of organizations to remain within its boundaries without holding back progress.”

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