YEAR 2023 No 2 Volume 31

ISSN 2182-9845

The impact of smart meters on data protection law

Diana Camões


Smart meters; energy law; general data protection regulation; directive 2019/944; personal data; energetic transaction. 


This study aims to analyze the impact of smart meters in regards to data protection law. Having in mind that goal, the investigation takes into account the main goals of energy law, which were reinforced by the Directive 2019/944 (the fourth package). Nowadays, information is power. Being smart meters an important mechanism to promote the necessary energetic transaction, as well as to give more power to consumers, we can’t ignore the dangers that might come from its use, namely in regards to data protection law. Thus, we analyze not only how may the data collected go beyond the smart meters’ goals, as well as who are, on this context, the controllers and processors. On the other hand, this investigation also has in consideration the difficulty that might exist in the legal basis for processing, as well as which conflicts emerge from the application of the Fourth Package and the General Data Protection Regulation. Having in mind the economic importance of the energy sector, its transition can’t be indifferent to the problematics related with personal data, in an era where this is the new oil.

Table of contents

1. Introduction
2. Smart Meters in EU Law 
3. Smart Meters and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)
3.1. Applicability of the GDPR   
3.2. Controllers and processors of Smart Meters
4. Legal problems that arise from the use of Smart Meters 
4.1. Legal basis for processing 
4.2. Overlapping problems between the GDPR and the Electricity Directive 
5. Challenges of Smart Meters in the future
6. Conclusion 
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