Linky counter: a matter of personal data

Linky electric meters, in the category of connected objects, have been deployed for 3 years now in France.

However, the CNIL (National Commission for Information Technology and Freedoms) has been expressing concern about this new computer tool for some time. The independent administrative authority is interested in how data collected from users is handled by suppliers. Then it will be appropriate to consider the nature of the information that can be collected by these Linky meters, and how to limit so that the provider cannot have access to certain information.

This article will also interest you: The position of the National Commission on Information Technology and Freedoms on the mobile tracking app

It should be noted that since its deployment, this new technology that was supposed to make life easier for users has been constantly cringe-worthy. Several specialists have always sought to highlight intrusive practices related to the use of these meters. And so far, you'll find people who are opposed to The Linky Counters. According to the latter, the yellow case on the meter, enedis, would be a tool that allows energy suppliers to spy on their customers. However, this seems a bit exaggerated even if the reasons for believing it are concrete. Indeed, the title of the Linky meter is to allow users of such a tool to be able to consult consumption data remotely, which will of course allow them to determine the mode of consumption as well as the billings in order to adapt their subscription. And unfortunately if there is one thing that cannot be denied, it is that there is no guarantee that energy suppliers do not divert the information collected in order to be able to study certain consumption habits of their customers. Hence the famous problem of the invasion of privacy of Linky meters. So far, there is no clear view of the information collected and transmitted to energy suppliers.

It should also be noted that the National Commission for Information Technology and Freedoms had succeeded in getting its hands on certain illegal practices in the protection of privacy and the management of personal data, energy suppliers such as EDF and Engie. They were found guilty by the French administrative authority of collecting their users' consumption data without first requesting their explicit consent. It is also a matter of non-compliance with the legal time to preserve the data collected.

On the Linky counters side, it should be noted that the process of transmitting user information has been validated by the National Information Systems Security Agency (ANSSI), the authority in charge of protecting information systems and state networks, as well as the supervision and supervision of cybersecurity private structures (commercial companies, NGOs, hospitals, etc.). According to the latter, no personal personal data should be collected by Linky counters. In other words, addresses, names and surnames, emails the phone number. To summarize the information collected by these tools are anonymized. The only data that is collected allows for some identification and the number of the meter. But to use it for identification purposes, it is of course necessary to cross it with information that is held, in a consumer file, only by the main supplier, Enedis. In addition, information related to energy consumption is transmitted only in a numerical way to the various suppliers, with the prior consent of the user.

For the League of Human Rights: "The Linky meter according to him is "very talkative" because the transfer of very detailed data on the electricity consumption of households would allow to know in particular the hours or periods of absence, the hours of sunrise and bed or the volume of water consumed (under certain conditions) and therefore by deduction the number of people present in the dwelling. ». However, it should be raised that the data can only be accessed by the provider if the user consents freely and expressly. Once this consent is issued, it is indeed possible for Enedis to be aware of some very personal information from its meter. This is problematic for privacy even in the presence of consent. And unfortunately nothing can justify that. In addition, my suppliers can by certain practices (reductions, bonuses …) encourage users to share their information with them. Unfortunately, the majority of them do not even know the consequences of this kind of action.

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