72 Fla. L. Rev. 451 (2020)
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Abstract

Energy-usage monitoring can expose much of what takes place inside
people’s homes and offices. As the “smart home” revolution continues,
this data will only become more revealing. Though this information is
essential for the development of the smart electric grid, it is also useful to
a variety of others: law enforcement, energy-efficiency experts, and
marketers. At present, this data enjoys little Fourth Amendment or
statutory protection. This was not previously a problem because the
information was historically not overly sensitive. Now that utilities are
collecting more than two thousand times as much information about
households as they were before, however, more protection is needed. This
Article traces the rise of “smart meter” technology, evaluates the Fourth
Amendment implications of law enforcement access to smart meter
records, and proposes a statutory framework to govern public and private
access to such data. It also reflects on the growing challenge of protecting
digital privacy in an era where once undetectable information is now
readily and involuntarily shared with third parties and on the Fourth
Amendment implications of failing to restrict private use of sensitive
data.