Beyond Gut Level – Some Critical Remarks on the German Privacy Approach to Smart Metering

  • Frank PallasEmail author


The European Directive on common rules for the internal market in electricity (2009/72/EC) requires all member states to “ensure the implementation of intelligent metering systems” in order to foster a more active involvement of customers in the electricity market. Such intelligent metering systems are able to collect and transmit consumption data in a significantly increased resolution and therefore raise privacy concerns. On the other hand, high-resolution measurement data are an essential basis for achieving the aims of higher overall energy efficiency and a significantly increased proportion of electricity originating from fluctuating renewable sources.

While European activities are still in an early stage, Germany has recently amended the national energy law and established specific and comprehensive regulations directed at security and privacy in smart metering environments. The underlying German approach to the regulation of smart grid privacy is examined and critically discussed in the light of the necessary functional provisions within an electricity grid under the regulatory regime of a liberalized market. Alternative approaches from the Netherlands and the UK are presented and compared to the German one. Finally, some implications are derived that might prove valuable for ongoing activities addressing smart grid privacy on the European level.


Data Protection Smart Grid Electricity Market Transmission System Operator External Party 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. Agrawal, Rakesh, Jerry Kiernan, Ramakrishnan Srikant, and Yirong Xu. 2002. Hippocratic databases. In Proceedings of the 28th VLDB conference, 143–154. Hong Kong, China.Google Scholar
  2. Al Abdulkarim, Laya, and Zofia Lukszo. 2009. Smart metering for the future energy systems in the Netherlands. In Paper presented at the fourth international conference on critical infrastructures, Linkoping.Google Scholar
  3. Al Abdulkarim, Laya, and Zofia Lukszo. 2011. Impact of privacy concerns on consumers’ acceptance of smart metering in The Netherlands. In Proceedings of the 2011 IEEE international conference on networking, sensing and control, 287–292. Delft.Google Scholar
  4. Anderson, Ross, Shailendra Fuloria, and Éireann Leverett. 2011. Data privacy and security for smart meters – response to Ofgem’s Consultation.∼rja14/Papers/DECC-sm-final.pdf. Accessed 28 Nov 2011.
  5. Article 29 Data Protection Working Party. Opinion 12/2011 on smart metering.
  6. Bauer, Gerald, Karl Stockinger, and Paul Lukowicz. 2009. Recognizing the use-mode of kitchen appliances from their current consumption. In Smart sensing and context, Lecture notes in computer science, vol. 5741, 163–176. doi:10.1007/978-3-642-04471-7_13.Google Scholar
  7. BDI – Federation of German Industries. 2010. Internet of energy – ICT for energy markets of the future – The energy industry on the way to the internet age. BDI publication No. 439. Accessed 28 Nov 2011.
  8. BSI – Bundesamt für Sicherheit in der Informationstechnik. 2011. Protection profile for the gateway of a smart metering system. V 1.1.1 final draft. Accessed 28 Nov 2011.
  9. BSI – Bundesamt für Sicherheit in der Informationstechnik. 2011. TR-03109: Anforderungen an die Interoperabilität der Kommunikationseinheit eines intelligenten Messsystems für Stoff und Energiemengen. V 0.2.0 draft. Accessed 28 Nov 2011.
  10. Bundesrat. Entwurf eines Gesetzes zur Neuregelung energiewirtschaftsrechtlicher Vorschriften. BR-Drucks. 343/11.Google Scholar
  11. Bundestag. Entwurf eines Gesetzes zur Neuregelung energiewirtschaftsrechtlicher Vorschriften. BT-Drucks. 17/6248.Google Scholar
  12. Cavoukian, Ann, Jules Polonetsky, and Christopher Wolf. 2010. SmartPrivacy for the Smart Grid: Embedding privacy into the design of electricity conservation. Identity in the Information Society 3: 275–294. doi: 10.1007/s12394-010-0046-y.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Davies, Sean. 16, 2010. Internet of energy. Engineering and Technology 5: 42–45.Google Scholar
  14. DECC. 2011. Smart metering implementation programme: Response to prospectus consultation – Overview document. Accessed 28 Nov 2011.
  15. DECC. 2011. Smart metering implementation programme: Response to prospectus consultation – Supporting document 1 of 5 – data access and privacy. via Accessed 28 Nov 2011.
  16. DECC. 2011. Smart metering implementation programme: A call for evidence on data access and privacy. Accessed 28 Nov 2011.
  17. Eckert, Claudia. 2011. Sicherheit im smart grid. Alcatel-Lucent-Stiftung. Accessed 28 Nov 2011.
  18. Energie-Nederland. 2011. Energie in Nederland 2011 – Energy in the Netherlands 2011. Accessed 28 Nov 2011.
  19. European Commission. 2006. European smart grids technology platform – Vision and strategy for Europe’s electricity networks of the future. EUR 22040. Accessed 28 Nov 2011.
  20. European Commission. 2009. ICT for a low carbon economy – Smart electricity distribution networks. Accessed 28 Nov 2011.
  21. European Commission. 2009. Standardisation mandate to CEN, CENELEC and ETSI in the field of measurement instruments for the development of an open architecture for utility meters involving communication protocols enabling interoperability. M/441. Accessed 28 Nov 2011.
  22. Greveler, Ulrich, Benjamin Justus, and Dennis Löhr. 2011. Hintergrund und experimentelle Ergebnisse zum Thema ‘Smart Meter und Datenschutz’. Technical report – V. 0.6 of Sept. 2011. Accessed 28 Nov 2011.
  23. Independent Center for Data Protection Schleswig-Holstein. 2011. ULD-Stellungnahme zur Smart-Meter-Regelung im Rahmen der Energiewende. Accessed 28 Nov 2011.
  24. International Energy Agency. 2011. Technology roadmap smart grids. Accessed 28 Nov 2011.
  25. Kamper, Andreas, and Anke Eßer. 2009. Strategies for Decentralised Balancing Power. In Biologically-Inspired Optimisation Methods, Studies in Computational Intelligence, vol. 210, ed. Andrew Lewis, Sanaz Mostaghim, and Marcus Randall, 261–289. Berlin: Springer. doi: 10.1007/978-3-642-01262-4_10.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Khurana, Himanshu, Mark Hadley, Ning Lu, and Deborah A. Frincke. 2010. Smart-grid security issues. IEEE Security and Privacy 8(1): 81–85.Google Scholar
  27. Knyrim, Rainer, and Gerald Trieb. 2011. Smart metering under EU data protection law. International Data Privacy Law 1(2): 121–128. doi: 10.1093/idpl/ipr004.
  28. Laupichler, Dennis, Stefan Vollmer, Holger Bast, and Matthias Intemann. 2011. Das BSI-Schutzprofil. Datenschutz und Datensicherheit – DuD 8: 542–546.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. McDaniel, Patrick, and Stephen McLaughlin. 2009. Security and privacy challenges in the smart grid. IEEE Security and Privacy 7(3): 75–77.Google Scholar
  30. Müller, Klaus J. 2011. Verordnete Sicherheit – Das Schutzprofil für das Smart Metering Gateway. Datenschutz und Datensicherheit – DuD 8: 547–551.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Netbeheer. 2011. Dutch smart meter requirements. V. 4.0 of April 2011. Accessed 28 Nov 2011.
  32. Pallas, Frank. 2012. Data protection and smart grid communication – The European Perspective. In Proceedings of the 2012 IEEE PES innovative smart grid technologies conference doi: 10.1109/ISGT.2012.6175695.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Pearson, Ivan L.G. 2011. Smart grid cyber security for Europe. Energy Policy 39(9): 5211–5218.Google Scholar
  34. Pfändler, Miriam. 2011. Smart meter und smart grid. Summer Academy of the Independent Center for Data Protection Schleswig Holstein. Accessed 28 Nov 2011.
  35. Quinn, Elias L. 2009. Privacy and the new energy infrastructure. SSRN working paper. Accessed 28 Nov 2011.
  36. Raabe, Oliver, Mieke Lorenz, Frank Pallas, and Eva Weis. 2011. Harmonisierung konträrer Kommunikationsmodelle im Datenschutzkonzept des EnWG. In Computer und Recht.Google Scholar
  37. Renner, Stephan, Mihaela Albu, Henk van Elburg, Christoph Heinemann, Artur Łazicki, Lauri Penttinen, Francisco Puente, and Hanne Sæle. 2011. European smart metering landscape report. SmartRegions project deliverable 2.1.;253415;1522. Accessed 28 Nov 2011.
  38. Task Force Smart Grids – Expert Group 2. 2011. Essential regulatory requirements and recommendations for data handling, data safety, and consumer protection – Recommendation to the European commission. Final draft of June 2011. Accessed 28 Nov 2011.

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Center for Applied Legal StudiesKarlsruhe Institute of TechnologyKarlsruheGermany
  2. 2.Computers and SocietyTechnical University of BerlinBerlinGermany

Personalised recommendations