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Google charges zero cents to us when we do a Google search or check our Gmail or use Google maps, but still the company makes a lot of money. As we all know most of Google's revenue is generated through personalized advertisement programs like 'AdWords' and 'AdSense'. When a user searches for something, Google stores the search predicates and maps them with the IP address of the computer. The combination of recent search predicates and web pages visited from that IP address determine the type of ads to be displayed to the user. So if you have recently searched for terms like 'Holiday' and 'New York', the next few web pages may contain advertisements of hotels in New York. In a nutshell, Google uses the browsing history of the user to push advertisements.
Why can't smart grid programs take a leaf from Google and use the selective electricity usage details (of course with the due consent of the customer) for personalized advertisements. This will enable the utility company to gain good revenue and offload some of the electricity bill from the customers. In that case if the customer has an old air-conditioner consuming a huge amount of energy and not chilling properly, that data can be used to show some advertisements of energy efficient AC to the user. This article throws light on the type of data that can be extracted from the grid and how it can be mined to select advertisers.
Source of data
The advent of smart grid will enable the utility to have the detailed information on consumption patterns of the households. This information can be used to infer some of the lifestyle trends of the people living in that house. For example, lesser consumption in the evening can imply that people return home late. A higher consumption on weekends might mean that the persons are not moving out in the off time. Complex pattern matching algorithms can be used to mine even more granular levels of data.
The smart appliances can be sources of a lot of data as well. Their data can contain details of the equipment, frequency of usage, energy consumed by the equipment etc. There can be a specific set of data for a particular appliance. For example, a prominent manufacturer had come up with a smart fried which will let the user scan the grocery bill and that data will be used to identify how many days the food has been stored inside the refrigerator. So such data can reflect the grocery list of the consumer, food storage baits etc. Similarly smart televisions which are connected to internet can provide details of TV viewing frequency, channels watched, genre of music listened etc.
All these data, when combined, can really reflect on the life-style of the people living at the house. Proper data mining can confirm their activities, habits and preferences etc. These data can be as powerful and informative as the data used by Google to display personalized advertisements to the users. Utility companies can mimic what Google does and push the required advertisements to the users.
Mode of advertisement
Most of the smart appliances come with an LCD display panels and that can be a potential placeholder for advertisement. Even though initially it would look like a bit of clutter, but it will take a few days only to get acquainted to, just like we are accustomed with advertisements on Google search page. And advertisements are not all evil. They can contain interesting information, tips, discounts etc. and also ensure a lot of saving for the customers in their utility bills.
Another interesting advertisement cocktail can be mixing the electrical usage data with that of an online advertiser like Google. In the smart grid era, the household can be identified by some unique IP address. When anyone from the home uses Google search, Google tracks the search tags originating from that IP and selects advertisements accordingly. If Google is provided with the electricity consumption info and smart appliance usage info originating from the same IP address, then the combined data will be even more informative to select proper advertisements for the users. So if you have an old air conditioner that has lower energy star rating (means consumes a lot of energy) and you do a Google search for 'How to reduce my electricity bill', then Google not only can put an ad of latest energy efficient AC in the web pages you visit, but also can customize the ad to display how much money you would save monthly if you use the new AC instead of the one installed at your home.
A good number of customer surveys on smart grid security reveal that the customers are skeptical of such intelligent monitoring devices, which transmit power usage information to the utility as frequently as every few minutes. These data can seriously compromise the privacy of the customer and can make them vulnerable to burglars, annoying marketers, insurance companies, and civil litigation's. A comprehensive report on smart grid privacy released by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) compiles a list of scenarios that consumers fear if their energy data got into the wrong hands. To preserve the privacy of the customers, some researchers have suggested sending anonymous power usage information to the utilities. Many of these similar security issues are already addressed in different domains of internet applications. That experience coupled with suitable cyber security laws will enormously help us build a secure and smarter grid.
Sometimes the opportunity lies within; it is just a step away from being utilized optimally. Data originating from the smart grids can be sources of smart revenue for the utilities. But for this to happen, the utilities must come up with strategies to win the confidence of the customer and reassure them of the fact that their privacy won't be compromised. At the same time there must be adequate investment and research to come up with proper security architecture for the grid.
For information on purchasing reprints of this article, contact sales. Copyright 2013 CyberTech, Inc.
These hints lay unexamined and apparently had no effect on Crypto's business until 1992, when the arrest and imprisonment in Iran of a salesman for Crypto prompted further inquiries.
The salesman, Hans Buehler, was on his 25th trip to Iran on behalf of Crypto when Iranian intelligence agents grabbed him, accused him of spying for the United States and Germany, held him in solitary confinement and interrogated him.
"I was questioned for five hours a day for nine months," Mr. Buehler says. "I was never beaten, but I was strapped to wooden benches and told I would be beaten. I was told Crypto was a spy center."
After nine months,Crypto paid $1 million to win Mr. Buehler's freedom. But a few weeks after Mr. Buehler's triumphant return to Switzerland, Crypto abruptly dismissed him and demanded that he repay the $1 million.
Mr. Buehler was baffled and bitter, he says. In 13 years with the company, he had no inkling that it had cooperated with foreign spies and assumed the Iranians' charges were groundless. But what he learned after he was fired persuaded him otherwise.
http://www.geocities.com/CapitolHill/Congress/8327/buehlerpayne.html but we would like your commentary about what happened and all circumstances so we can post it on our website but as well as a report to the mailing lists.
On behalf of SMCCDI
A. Zoubin ( Information Committee) http://www.iran-daneshjoo.org/
Well what a daft idea. I am inclined to agree with Len. I do not relish the thought of my fridge being used as an in-home billboard for cornflakes. If that is what the smart grid is all about I will buy a generator and disconnect from it. Malcolm
Malcolm Rawlingson 9.26.12
Now here is an idea. The utility could put sensors on the bathroom toilet roll dispenser so when it is nearly run out a hologram could be projected onto the bathroom mirror informing you of the impending deficiency and advising you to buy the new softer user friendly toilet roll to pamper your rear end with. How useful would that be? It is such a stupid idea that it will probably be reality in 5 years. Malcolm