Saturday, March 25, 2017

Global Data Firm: “We Help Utilities Surveil and Profile Their Customers, and Monetize Home Surveillance Data” March 25, 2017 by Josh del Sol

In one fell swoop, every utility’s claim of “smart meters do not spy on you” is now dissolved.
Their myth is now shattered.
In a cutesy marketing video, shown below, global data analytics company Onzo admits to helping utilities surveil and profile their customers — and sell direct surveillance access to their customers’ homes.
“We use this characterized profile to give the utility… the ability to monetize their customer data by providing a direct link to appropriate third-party organizations based on the customer’s identified character.”
Watch Onzo’s rather jaw dropping 90-second marketing video:
 So, what does this mean?
See Jerry Day’s excellent commentary on the implications Onzo’s admission and the Internet of Things:
Onzo’s blatant admission comes after years of industry speculation about using ‘smart’ meters for mass surveillance the main home-access point in a plan of unprecedented scope and profit potential.
In a 2015 interview, a high-level NARUC director signaled the intention and scope of the agenda:
“I think the data [harvested by ‘smart’ meters] is going to be worth a lot more than the commodity that’s being consumed to generate the data.”
Miles Keogh, Director, Research and Grants, National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners, 1 January 2015 (view source)
And as far back as 2011, California Public Utilities Commission was using the same “double-speak” language when they changed their rules to normalize meter spying and data-monetizing:
“I support today’s decision because it adopts reasonable privacy and security rules and expands consumer and third-party access to electricity usage and pricing information. I hope this decision stimulates market interest.” Timothy Alan Simon, Commissioner, California Public Utilities Commission, 11 July 2011 (view source)
Here’s the full transcription from Onzo’s video:
We are Onzo. We help energy utilities globally to build better relationships with their customers, serve them more efficiently, and summon(?) them in a more effective way.
How do we do this? We take energy consumption data from smart meters and sensors. We analyze it using our patented algorithms. And build a highly-personalized profile for each and every utility customer.
We then tag this profile with the key behavioral, attitudinal and lifestyle characteristics that we identify. We even tag the appliances that we see being used in the home.
We then use this characterized profile to give the utility three things:
  1. Customer engagement apps that educate the end-customer, build levels of trust, and ultimately, reduce customer churn.
  2. A detailed description of each end-customer, that helps the utility to provide more appropriate services and highly-targeted sales campaigns.
  3. The ability to monetize their customer data, by providing a direct link to appropriate third-party organizations, based on the customer’s identified character.
So, from a very thin stream of energy consumption data, Onzo delivers significant business value, for as little as the price of a cup of coffee.
Those perpetrating (or benefiting from ) mass-surveillance and the colonization of the individual are facilitating the downfall of all rights and freedoms in the Western world.
If this is allowed to continue, there will be no such thing as human rights, for you the reader, me, our kids or the human race.
In a unified consciousness, we must participate in the enforcement of accountability and justice upon the individual actors who are causing and profiting from such widespread, unlawful harm.

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