Philip Johnson • almost 11 years ago
Improve Apps for Energy through digital signatures for Green Button data
My name is Philip Johnson, and I lead a research project called the Kukui Cup
(http://kukuicup.org/) which is investigating ways to positively change energy behaviors
through a combination of feedback, incentives, game mechanics, and community-based social
marketing. To support this effort, we are developing open source technology called
Unfortunately, the current Green Button standard prevents a wide class of interesting
energy-related applications from being developed because it does not support verifiable
energy data. For example, Makahiki would be an excellent platform to develop a
multi-player game competition in which real-world energy data could be used as part of a
competition. Unfortunately, the current Green Button standard would make it trivial for
players to spoof their energy data in the game (download the files from their utility,
edit them to represent winning energy conservation values, and upload to the game).
A simple way to address this problem is to provide a standard but optional way for utilities to
digitally sign the Green Button data they provide to customers. That way, game platforms
can verify that uploaded Green Button data has not been tampered with, and the integrity
of competitions based on Green Button data would be maintained.
This is a simple, optional, backward compatible change to the Green Button
specification. My hope is that the Apps for Energy challenge will happen again next year,
and that a digital signature option could be implemented for Green Button data by that
time so that technologies such as Makahiki could be used.
Professor, Information and Computer Sciences
University of Hawaii
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