Retlige rammer for anvendelse af fjernaflæste elmålere i lyset af retten til respekt for privatliv og beskyttelse af personoplysninger: En retsdogmatisk analyse af hjemmelsgrundlaget for anvendelsen af fjernaflæste elmålere i lyset af retten til respekt for privatliv og beskyttelse af personoplysninger

Research output: ThesisPh.D. thesis

Abstract

The thesis examines the legal framework for the use of smart metering systems and the collection of meter information according to the danish Electricity Supply Act and associated regulation in the light of the right to respect for private life and the protection of personal data. The purpose of the thesis is to examine the legal challenges that exist for the legal basis for the use of smart metering systems in the electricity market and for the protection of private life and personal data in the light of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights and the General Data Protection Regulation, when a smart meter system is installed, being able to record electricity consumption at least every 15 minutes.

The thesis uses the legal dogmatic method to describe, systematize and interpret applicable law within the area of the danish Electricity Supply Act by analyzing the Danish regulation on the use of smart metering systems, which is based on the Electricity Market Directive. By also analyzing the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights and the General Data Protection Regulation, the considerations and requirements that are emphasized in the case law of the European Court of Justice are identified as to whether a regulation is compatible with the Charter and the General Data Protection Regulation.

The thesis is divided into four parts: Part I introduces the purpose of the thesis, the research questions and the thesis's application of the legal dogmatic method as well as the methodological choices made through thesis. Finally, a central question for the thesis is answered as to whether frequent meter readings from a household can be regarded as personal data.

tering systems in the electricity market. First, the general principles and considerations for energy law regulation are analyzed, and it is examined how they are reflected in the purpose provision of the Danish Electricity Supply Act. Furthermore, the thesis describes how energy is funded in the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union and analyzes the legal framework for smart metering systems in the directive on common rules for the internal market for electricity. Part II ends with an analysis of the Danish legal framework for obligatory installation of smart meters in households and the legal framework for the collection of frequent meter reading for the central register in the DataHub.

Part III analyzes the protection of private life, the home and personal data in relation to the use of smart metering systems with frequent meter readings. This is done through an analyze of section 72 of the Danish Constitution on the inviolability of the home, the Charter's protection of the right to private life and the protection of personal data as well as the Data Protection Regulation's requirements for compliance with general principles when processing personal data.

Part IV of the thesis summarizes the conclusions of the thesis. Based on the thesis's analyses, it is concluded that the regulation of the electricity supply area is based on fundamental principles for the country's electricity supply security, environment and a fundamental right to access electricity that is also payable. Safe, stable and affordable access to electricity based on renewable energy sources is in the interest of society. On this basis and to support energy efficiency, smart electricity meters have been installed in households throughout Denmark. The meter can make readings of the consumption every 15 minutes, and hourly readings are submitted to a central register in the IT platform DataHub.

All electricity consumers’ meter readings are collected to provide an opportunity to provide customers with time-differentiated prices that reflect the actual demand and supply and to ensure the functioning of the market. The case law of the European Court of Justice shows that the legal basis for such collection must be clear and precise, and that the collection of personal data must be limited to what is strictly necessary. The European Court of Justice has ruled that a general and undifferentiated collection of personal data that goes beyond what is necessary to achieve the objectives pursued by the legislation would be contrary to the Charter's provisions on the protection of private life and personal data. As a result, it must be concluded that smart metering systems requires a secure legal basis that does not go beyond what is necessary to ensure the objectives which the legislation seeks to achieve. As a result, it should be considered whether the goal of a secure electricity supply with a high degree of security of electricity supply based on renewable energy sources can be achieved by other means of collecting hourly records of all electricity consumers, or whether less intrusive methods can be used to obtain relevant metering data.
Original languageDanish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Southern Denmark
Supervisors/Advisors
  • Mortensen, Bent Ole Gram, Principal supervisor
  • Næsborg-Andersen, Ayo, Co-supervisor
Date of defence25. Oct 2021
Publisher
Publication statusPublished - 25. Oct 2021

Note re. dissertation

Print copy of the thesis is restricted to reference use in the Library from November 2026.

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