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Fujitsu Announces Privacy-preserving Technology for Green Button

Supports Demand Response Aggregation Service based on Customer-centric Data Management

Fujitsu Laboratories of America Inc.

Sunnyvale, CA, November 08, 2013

At the Smart Energy Grid Security Workshop held in conjunction with 20th ACM Conference on Computer and Communications Security (ACM CCS 2013), Fujitsu Laboratories of America announced that it has developed new technology that enhances Green Button, a White House inspired idea to give all Americans access to their own energy usage information, by enabling both privacy control by utility customers and data integrity verification by service providers. This will address customer concerns about privacy and encourage active support of new value-added services that rely on trustworthy energy usage data including demand response aggregation.

Green Button, which is supported by industry and government, allows customers to download their electricity usage data from utilities to manage their energy usage and also share this data with third-party service providers offering new online application tools and innovative services. Using the new technologies developed by Fujitsu, service providers that receive Green Button data from utility customers can verify if the data provided has been tampered with or forged. This will lead to broad adoption of customer-centric energy usage data management and support demand response (DR) aggregation service providers (also called DR aggregators) who calculate an incentive to be paid to each customer based on fair assessment of the performance using the provided usage data.

To protect privacy, it is important for customers to have the flexibility to control the amount of data that is disclosed when interacting with service providers. For example, in case of DR aggregation service, a customer can minimize the privacy concern by only showing data corresponding to the DR event period while hiding other data which can keep sensitive information, such as lifestyles, invisible to the DR aggregator (Fig. 1).

Redaction of Electricity usage data for privacy protection

Figure 1: Redaction of Electricity usage data for privacy protection


Data integrity is usually attained by introducing digital signatures. For instance, the utility can make its signature on Green Button data so that the integrity can be publicly verified. However, the privacy property is not attained since the redaction of data invalidates the signature. To secure data integrity while allowing customers to flexibly redact part of their data for the sake of privacy, Fujitsu developed a redactable digital signature scheme tailored for use with electricity usage data. Since energy usage data is usually represented only with numbers, traditional redactable signature schemes may not be robust enough against brute-force attacks aimed at revealing the hidden data. Fujitsu’s redactable signature scheme makes brute-force attacks difficult by using the same data or sequence of data to generate different cryptographic hash values for each customer and for each time period. By extending the standard Green Button data schema, the above mechanism is integrated in such a way that a Green Button payload can convey a digital signature and other metadata required for redaction.

This technology enables the implementation of DR aggregation service based on Green Button data while minimizing customer privacy concerns (Fig. 2). Most of the existing DR service providers require installation of their own metering device to obtain reliable energy consumption data at each customer premise, which can be intrusive and expensive. With combination of Green Button and Fujitsu technology, enhanced privacy control is available to customers that provide DR aggregators with essential meter data for DR services. The proposed framework can support large scale customers offering services such as residential DR services.

Customer-centric Data Management and Utilization for DR Aggregation

Figure 2: Customer-centric Data Management and Utilization for DR Aggregation


Applications of the technology are not limited to DR aggregation service. Other services that rely on trustworthy energy usage data can also be implemented using it. Furthermore, since the technology is implemented on Green Button, it can be integrated, with minimal cost and effort, into existing systems and applications that can handle Green Button data.

About Fujitsu

Fujitsu is the leading Japanese information and communication technology (ICT) company offering a full range of technology products, solutions and services. Approximately 162,000 Fujitsu people support customers in more than 100 countries. We use our experience and the power of ICT to shape the future of society with our customers. Fujitsu Limited (TSE: 6702) reported consolidated revenues of 4.8 trillion yen (US$46 billion) for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2014. For more information, please see: http://www.fujitsu.com.

About Fujitsu Laboratories of America, Inc.

Fujitsu Laboratories of America, Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Fujitsu Laboratories Ltd. (Japan), focusing on research on Internet, interconnect technologies, software development and solutions for several industry verticals. Conducting research in an open environment, it contributes to the global research community and the IT industry. It is headquartered in Sunnyvale, CA.
For more information, please see: www.fla.fujitsu.com

Press Contact - FLA

James Montantes

Phone: Phone: 408-530-4681
E-mail: E-mail: jmontantes@us.fujitsu.com
Company:Fujitsu Laboratories of America, Inc.

Date: November 08, 2013
City: Sunnyvale, CA
Company: Fujitsu Laboratories of America, Inc.