The Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) recently requested information and comments related to its proposed framework for a policy protecting customer information privacy. The Commission’s current rules, 1999 AC, R 460.101 et seq., Consumer Standards and Billing Practices for Residential Customers provide some limited protection of customer privacy with respect to billing information. The new framework under consideration is a set of best practices intended to address customer data privacy related to advanced metering infrastructure.
While many of the suggested protection will be welcome, it is worth flagging at least one aspect of the framework, which will make it extremely inconvenient for consumers who want to easily activate new devices that responsibly take advantage of smart grid data. The framework requires that “customer usage data, personally identifiable information, and certain other customer information are only disclosed to third parties with the customer’s written consent.” Companies with responsible privacy practices in place should be able to use electronic means to make consent simple for consumers.
For additional information, see the announcement: