UNC media law student Natasha Duarte has had an article published in the North Carolina Law Review. The article is “The Home Out of Context: The Post-Riley Fourth Amendment and Law Enforcement Collection of Smart Meter Data,” 93 N.C. L. Rev. 1140 (2015).
The article says, in part, “Smart meters know when you’re sleeping. They know when you’re awake. They might even know whether you’re in the shower or watching TV. Utility companies are steadily installing these smart meters on consumers’ homes. Unlike traditional energy meters, which show a household’s aggregated electricity use each month, smart meters collect fine-grained, minute-by-minute data about electricity use and transmit it back to the utility at regular intervals. This data, when collected over time and analyzed, can reveal the activities and behavioral patterns of a household. Utility records have long been of interest in law enforcement investigations, and the detailed information contained in smart meter data can provide police with infinitely more insight into people’s homes.” The article explores how the Fourth Amendment applies to law enforcement searches for such information and how that might change as a result of the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2014 decision in Riley v. California.
Natasha, who is on the staff of the North Carolina Law Review, is in her fourth year of UNC’s dual-degree program (a master’s in mass communication and a J.D.).