DataGuard for Industry

Why Participate

Protecting consumer privacy is important. And communicating your commitment to protecting consumer's privacy is critical as new intelligent devices are becoming prevalent. These technologies provide increasing amounts of data allowing companies to better serve their customers—whether through more efficient operations or new, innovative products and services—but these devices also are increasing concerns over consumer data privacy. This is why DataGuard, the nation's first energy data privacy program, was developed.

DataGuard is a voluntary program that provides high-level principles around the treatment, retention, and disposal of customer data. The concepts and principles were created by industry stakeholders and provide a framework for establishing practices that protect the access, use, and sharing of customer data.

DataGuard is a voluntary program that provides high-level principles around the treatment, retention, and disposal of customer data.

In today's fast-changing energy landscape, your customers need to know that their data will continue to be protected and treated responsibly. DataGuard allows you to do just that. The DataGuard logo and brand will communicate your commitment to protecting your customers' privacy. We encourage you to study the DataGuard Energy Data Privacy Program Voluntary Code of Conduct Concepts & Principles, how it was developed, and how to adopt the program.

Research Shows Consumers Value DataGuard

To gain an in-depth understanding of consumer perceptions of data privacy in utility companies and to solicit feedback on the Voluntary Code of Conduct initiative, DOE and partnering utilities enlisted a private firm to conduct 18 focus groups across the country. The groups consisted of a mix of age, ethnicity, education, gender, and income. Participants also included a mix of tech-savvy users, retail and regulated markets, and business customers. A majority—68%—supported the idea of creating a privacy code of conduct.

The value to utilities as reported by consumers in the focus groups included:

  1. A company adopting the program was being proactive about caring for and serving their customers.
  2. It gave companies a way to let customers know that their data was being protected and that a company is looking out for their best interests, thus providing consumers reassurance.
  3. Knowing that a provider has opted in to a voluntary code builds trust and improves perceptions of that utility.
  4. The code was appreciated because it provided uniformity and an explanation of how utilities will process sensitive data; most respondents were currently unfamiliar with their utility's data privacy habits.
  5. It educates customers about how their personal usage data is being stored, processed, and disposed.