Sustainable energy for Europeans
case study
What would happen to energy and utility companies if data segmentation was significantly restricted in Europe? Would this be detrimental to European consumers? Take this hypothetical example.

Utilities companies may need to use profiling of individuals’ behaviour and preferences in order to:
  • accurately predict outages before they occur, while running assets at peak performance and optimising maintenance schedules
  • minimise technical losses in the distribution system
  • optimise smart meter deployment
  • manage timely customer communications to optimise value from investment

Energy analytics, which enables producers and consumers to understand and predict energy consumption patterns, is an important component of future energy management. The quality of analysis is substantially enhanced when energy companies are able to analyse data from multiple sources, allowing them to gain a better understanding of how consumption varies by region and how global energy resources can be most effectively deployed.
Our take
The energy and utility sectors cannot perform effectively without a deep understanding of the huge amounts of data that also relates to the profiles of consumers. For them, it is vital that data segmentation is not unnecessarily restricted with a one-size-fits-all approach that does not take into account the fact that there are different levels of risk associated with profiling and disparate types of impact on the privacy of individuals also related to the sensitivity of the data processed.

The implementation of this article in practice would produce unintended consequences negatively affecting consumer welfare
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