How It Works

DataGuard is a voluntary program developed by industry that all service providers (utilities, technology companies, third-party providers) can adopt. It provides a transparent means for companies to re-affirm and communicate their commitment to consumer data privacy. DataGuard is not a regulation or standard. It is a voluntary code of conduct that specifies high-level principles and concepts to allow for maximum flexibility in implementation. It specifies what must be addressed or considered but does not specify the exact method of implementation. Adopting companies must determine for themselves how to implement DataGuard's concepts and principles based on their specific company practices and operating environment. Once your company is satisfied they have met the requirements, you will submit an adoption statement committing the company to the program and publicly commit by using the DataGuard logo on company communications materials.

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is currently seeking companies that would like to be early adopters of the programs and participate in a program launch. Several companies—a combination of both utilities and third parties—have pledged their commitment to adopt. If you are interested in being an early adopter, please contact Eric Lightner at DOE.

Maintenance and Revisions

At the request of industry stakeholders, U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) will be the steward of the DataGuard program and its associated website for a minimum of two years. At that time the program will be re-evaluated to determine if the stewardship should continue with DOE or whether this function should (or could) be turned over to a private entity.

As the steward of the program, DOE will establish a Revisions Working Team (RWT) that will review DataGuard's concepts and principles for updates and revisions every two years. The two-year revision cycle allows for revisions to take place in response to changing technology or emerging concerns while at the same time giving adopting companies a set timeframe for review.

The RWT will review any revisions suggested by stakeholders as well as conduct an independent review of the concepts and principles to determine if any revisions may be warranted. The RWT will also assess suggested revisions of an urgent nature that are clearly identified as needing a determination prior to the next two-year deadline.

The RWT will be made up of industry volunteers, and best efforts will be made to ensure that the RWT is populated by a diverse set of stakeholders representing a cross-section of industry interests, such as utilities of various sizes (e.g., investor owned utilities (IOUs), municipalities, and cooperatives), consumer advocates, privacy advocates, regulators, and/or third parties. The volunteers will serve for finite terms, although some degree of voluntary renewal upon approval of the entire RWT could be allowed. If you are interested in serving on the RWT, please CLICK HERE and ask to receive future RWT notifications.

It is crucial to maintain an open, transparent, multi-stakeholder process in assessing any potential revisions. Therefore, DOE will coordinate revision requests, reviews with the RWT, and meetings with stakeholders. DOE will work to ensure participation by a diverse set of stakeholders in evaluating and providing input into proposed revisions prior to final release. Meetings, proposed revisions, and other information will be posted on SmartGrid.gov and this website.

When revisions are finalized, adopting companies will receive notice of the revision and an adopting company that wishes to opt out of the DataGuard program must communicate its intent and the effective date of its opt-out. The company must then remove all DataGuard logos/brands from their communication materials by the opt-out effective date included in its notification.

Enforcement

The DataGuard Energy Data Privacy Program is an industry-developed, self-regulated code of conduct for data privacy. Participation in the DataGuard program is voluntary, and there is no regulatory body charged with enforcement.