Privacy in the new era of visible and sharable energy-use information

Snow, Stephen, Radke, Kenneth, Vyas, Dhaval, & Brereton, Margot (2014) Privacy in the new era of visible and sharable energy-use information. In Proceedings of OZCHI 2014 Designing Futures: The Future of Design, ACM (The Association for Computing Machinery), University of Technology, Sydney, Australia, pp. 342-351.

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A new era of visible and sharable electricity information is emerging. Where eco-feedback is installed, households can now visualise many aspects of their energy consumption and share this information with others through Internet platforms such as social media. Despite providing users with many affordances, eco-feedback information can make public previously private actions from within the intimate setting of the family home. This paper represents a study focussing specifically on the privacy aspects of nascent ways for viewing and sharing this new stream of personal information. It explores the nuances of privacy related to eco-feedback both within and beyond the family home. While electricity consumption information may not be considered private itself, the household practices which eco-feedback systems makes visible may be private. We show that breaches of privacy can occur in unexpected ways and have the potential to cause distress. The paper concludes with some suggestions for how to realise the benefits of sharing energy consumption information whist effectively maintaining individuals’ conceptions of adequate privacy.

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ID Code: 79274
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Keywords: Eco-feedback;, Smart meters, Privacy, Social networking, Collective information practices
DOI: 10.1145/2686612.2686664
ISBN: 978-1-4503-0653-9
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > INFORMATION AND COMPUTING SCIENCES (080000)
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Electrical Engineering & Computer Science
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Science & Engineering Faculty
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2014 The Authors
Copyright Statement: Permission to make digital or hard copies of all or part of this work for personal or classroom use is granted without fee provided that copies are not made or distributed for profit or commercial advantage and that copies bear this notice and the full citation on the first page. Copyrights for components of this work owned by others than ACM must be honored. Abstracting with credit is permitted. To copy otherwise, or republish, to post on servers or to redistribute to lists, requires prior specific permission and/or a fee. Request permissions from
Deposited On: 08 Dec 2014 02:18
Last Modified: 18 Sep 2016 10:45

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