Q6) Given the new smart meters will be able to gather information, for example show a consumer’s peak usage time, would this be viewed as a personal data breach?

Suppliers have a condition in their license (SLC 47), introduced through the Data Access and Privacy Framework, that prevents them from accessing smart meter data for periods of less than a day (e.g. half-hourly data) without providing notice to the customer of the purpose that they may use this data and receiving explicit consent to the data being obtained for those purposes. SLC 47.10 also sets out restrictions on the use of consumption data which must be adhered to. The customer has the right to withdraw their consent to accessing consumption data relating to a period of less than one month at any time. Suppliers are also required to notify customers of how they use and process their data in a Privacy Notice, that is normally available on their website.

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