Posted by Business Insider on January 21, 2019 04:10:08 The new year brings new technologies, new business models, and new opportunities for businesses to take advantage of the power of the Internet.
But the world has already seen a number of smart meters installed in some of our most populated states, and they have some troubling implications.
For starters, there are some very troubling privacy issues that can be exploited to collect, track, and sell your personal data about you.
Many of these meters are powered by the same technology that allows Google Maps and other online mapping services to connect to your phone and track where you are and when you’re in your location.
Many people have had their personal information collected and used without their consent, including when shopping at the supermarket or in restaurants, or when driving their car.
The problem is not limited to Texas, though.
In California, New York, Washington, Colorado, Utah, Massachusetts, Maine, and Pennsylvania, smart meters can collect and use your location, your Wi-Fi, your credit card data, and your medical history.
These meters can also monitor your location from your mobile phone and use it to track your movements in real time, as well as your health.
And many of these devices are now being sold in some states without your consent.
These kinds of devices have been used in some cases to track and surveil residents, including in Texas, New Jersey, Minnesota, and Wisconsin, according to a report by the Center for Responsive Politics.
While smart meters are being installed in Texas and New Jersey in part because of the potential for a backlash from the residents, they’re also being installed because of a need to reduce congestion and reduce the cost of energy and water.
In a report last year, the Center For Responsive Disclosure noted that “smart meter sales are growing rapidly” and that there’s “great potential for widespread surveillance.”
It said that smart meters have “the potential to provide private data to corporations, state and local governments, and even private police departments, who can then access that data without a warrant.”
These meters, according the Center, are also being sold to “some of the largest and most powerful companies in the US, including Google, AT&T, Verizon, and Comcast.”
“Smart meters are the next generation of surveillance technology,” said Alexei Ponomarev, the executive director of the Center’s Privacy & Technology Initiative.
“And they’re going to be used by a variety of industries, including corporations, governments, law enforcement, and health care providers.”
The big question is: what happens when these meters go up in Texas?
The Texas Public Utility Commission has already approved smart meter deployment in Texas under the Texas Public Utilities Act, and there is currently a permit process for installation in other states.
The Public Utility Commissioner, who oversees the project, has said that his goal is to have a smart meter installed by 2021 in all 50 states.
However, the Texas Department of Public Safety and the Public Utilities Commission have yet to approve the installation of smart meter infrastructure in Texas.
For now, Texas residents will have to find a way to prevent their meters from being sold, whether by buying them upfront or through the meters themselves.
The first smart meter to go up is expected to be installed in the Austin area in 2021.
In a statement released last month, the Austin City Council called on the Texas Utilities Commission to approve smart meters in the state.
“Residents of Austin deserve to be assured that their health, safety, and property are protected by smart meters,” Council Member Kevin Faulconer said in a statement.
“I’m proud of the work the Public Utility Commissioners have done to craft and implement this important and necessary program.”
Other states are also considering installing smart meters.
In Georgia, a smart metering bill passed in March would require that utilities be given permission to install smart meters, but a final vote hasn’t been scheduled.
Texas is the first state to approve installation of a smart meters program, and some local officials have said that their support for the bill has not been questioned.
“We’re not trying to sell a meter,” said Austin City Manager Jeff Johnson in a press release last month.
“The city is supporting the project.”
In addition to requiring a permit, smart meter sales in Texas must be approved by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.
The commission has been working on smart meter rules for the last few years, and the current rules don’t include any privacy protections for the user, said Jessica Rader, a spokesperson for the commission.
In addition, smart meters must comply with certain requirements that apply to a smart home.
In the case of Texas, the state requires smart meters to comply with the requirements for building-wide thermostats and the installation requirements for energy meters.
For now, the commission says that it is looking at how to implement the rules in the most efficient way possible, and will release its rules to the public later this year.
The Austin city’s council will meet again in