San Diego Gas & Electric and the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario, Canada, released a joint paper March 8 to document the incorporation of Privacy by Design into SDG&E’s smart grid initiative. This partnership is the first of its kind in the United States, and emphasizes the commitment of the company in designing, building and operating a secure, reliable and trustworthy smart grid that safeguards customer privacy from the start.

“Privacy is a fundamental right of every one of our customers and a priority of the company,” said Caroline Winn, vice president of customer services and chief customer privacy officer for SDG&E. “SDG&E is proud to partner with Ontario’s Information and Privacy Commissioner and we look forward to helping develop progressive and innovative ways that will continue to ensure that consumer energy data is managed in a responsible manner throughout the modernization of our electric grid.”

SDG&E’s smart grid initiative includes infrastructure enhancements that will improve system reliability, benefit the environment and provide more customized energy solutions for customers. One of the first customer solutions incorporating Privacy by Design will be a new energy management tool giving customers more detailed information on their energy use and ways to save. This tool will be available to customers starting in May.

Authored by Winn and Ann Cavoukian, Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario, the joint paper was unveiled March 8 at the Grid ComForum West conference in San Diego. Developed by Cavoukian, Privacy by Design was recently made an international standard, and is a practical solution for ensuring privacy that can be designed into the ever-growing and systemic efforts of information and communication technologies, and of large-scale networked data systems, as the default condition.

The full report is available at