There's absolutely no 4th Amendment implication because there's no government action (PGE isn't the government). PGE can do as they please with that info absent any violation of another law/right or actions taken adversely to the customer's consent. And if a customer signs a contract (hence, giving up certain freedoms in order to obtain power), any breach of that contract by a customer will be met accordingly by the remedy sought by PGE. This is the capitalism you so avidly and blindly defend in your columns. Your post is somewhat baffling to me, not to mind a bit off the mark.I read her statement of "constitution of civil rights" being violated by a take-this-or-have-electricity- shut-off mandate. Utility may well have right to change their owned equipment, but they may not have right to shut off usage when bills are current. For the 4th amendment folks, what questions are raised over the idea that, ultimately, Smart Meters are intended to read and record each individual electrical device's usage in your home? Not a problem to me but... Once they have that info, what other things might they do with it. Do people implicitly trust PG&E with marketable data? Or, would anyone consider that the meter could, like any device, be capable of hacking. Why, I don't know, but does it concern people justifiably? Would higher rates or appliance shutdowns by remote control be voluntary? At first? Are people prepared to have to forgo media viewing in prime time if there's an energy shortage? Or an energy shortage because PG&E invested in wind or solar that are incapable of generating peak or spike electricity? I do find the apparent acceptance with blind faith, by folks that ordinarily mistrust corporations and government, to be curious.
This whole issue is a mountain out of a molehill to me given the state of the union. Query, do the Smartmeter opposition folks also disapprove of the placing of cameras throughout metro areas? Or better yet, the Patriot Act?
Still, private action and government action aren't the same thing.