Understanding and Mitigating Privacy risks of IoT Homes with Demand-Side Management (PrivIoT)

The UK government is targeting a complete rollout of smart meters in homes by the end of 2024, and rollouts of Demand-Side Management (DSM) technologies will follow to ensure efficient power usage. These technologies offer important functionalities for the National Grid and economic savings for citizens, but do this by tracking the activities we carry out in the privacy of our homes. When further integrated with consumer Internet of Things (IoT) devices in the home, the interactions between these IoT devices, smart meters, and DSM could result in a multitude of digitally-enabled harms. These harms will be considered from the perspective of privacy, security, and personal safety. As these technologies become more popular and further embedded in many aspects of our daily lives, it is crucial to understand the harms/crimes that can be associated with them, especially now that we are spending more time at home (e.g. working).

The PrivIoT project will explore digital harms in the interaction between home IoT devices, smart meters and Demand-Side Management (DSM) technologies to develop conceptual tools to improve users’ situational awareness and agency.

Start date: September 2021 – March 2023

This project is a collaboration between the universities of Northumbria, Royal Holloway, Manchester and Nottingham, and includes OTASKI Energy Solutions, Toshiba, and CybSafe as non-academic partners