With mixed emotions I pass up tempting discounts offered by store loyalty cards. I don\u2019t want my purchases tracked and used to enable a company\u2019s unwelcome marketing pitches. \tBut I wonder if I\u2019m giving up the savings for nothing. \tBuying with a credit card\u2014even without the loyalty addition\u2014my purchases are tracked, just by another firm. \tWhen I go online to buy office supplies or read reviews on Yelp, my internet activities also are an open book read by companies pushing products. \tWhile I do what I can to maintain some semblance of privacy, particularly in my home, it is an uphill battle. Cell phones, their cameras, near-universal access to the web, and smart meters all reveal intimate details of my life. \tAt least with \u201csmart\u201d meter data, there is ongoing debate at the state level about who gets access to data about when I shower, sauté vegetables, leave my pets alone, my kids with latchkeys, or surf the web. \tAlso under discussion is who decides whether my energy use should be revealed, how much gets released and in what form. \tThe biggest issue is how much of my personal data should get clumped with\u2014or aggregated\u2014with other ratepayers\u2019 power info. \tMarketing companies are chomping at the bit for access to detailed smart meter information to propel their products. \tAt the same time, some policy makers and consultants are calling for greater data transparency for bona fide reasons. \t"Everywhere you look data is being mined, a lot of it for marketing research,\u201d said Ken Alex, director of the Office of Planning & Research. \u201cIt is time to use it on behalf of the public and public interest." \tHe and others insist the current limits on utility energy data impede tracking the effectiveness of utility energy savings and demand response programs and of clean energy efforts in California. \t\u201cThere is virtually no baseline data\u201d against which to measure on-the-ground savings from energy efficiency programs and the effectiveness of renewable and climate protection mandates, Dr. Stephanie Pincetl, adjunct professor and director of the Center for Sustainable Communities at the Institute of the Environment & Sustainability at the University of California at Los Angeles, said during a \u201cthought leaders\u2019\u201d session at the California Public Utilities Commission last month. \tData transparency is a big deal. \tPincetl noted that comparing imputed results from program models with real results could reveal whether a program is working. It is also a critical tool for guiding and improving energy planning, forecasting and rate equity. \tPrivate utilities are resisting the push for increased data transparency, asserting that consumer privacy would be compromised. I find their pleas disingenuous given the years they\u2019ve spent pushing smart meters and fighting opt-outs for those who want to keep their analog meters. \tUtilities aren\u2019t alone. \tPrivacy advocates insist that revealing smart meter data violates the 4th Amendment and its prohibition again unreasonable searches. \t\u201cOur sacred space is in the home,\u201d said Lila Bailey, University of California, Berkeley, Samuelson Law, Technology & Public Policy clinic teaching fellow. \tAre policymakers\u2019 good intentions on data transparency paving the way to data hell? \tIs it a choice between my dedication to supplying info to the state that is supposed to reduce all of our carbon footprints or my privacy? \tIt is not a choice between the greater good or pulling down the shades. \tRegulators should continue their efforts to carefully weigh and craft how much, in what form, and whom to release my data. \tThe state must allow me to decide whether or not I want my energy data use revealed. \tAfter all, they gave my utility the OK to slap on a smart meter without my consent\u2014albeit with a belated opt-out option. That same choice should apply to the data revealed by that gizmo on the side of my house. \tLet me decide who I want to see my energy use data and to what degree. I want that Big Red Button to say \u201cyes\u201d or \u201cno\u201d to my very personal data being handed off. Not just a bill insert that I throw into recycling. Sure, the state data collectors have their reasons, many of which I support, but I have a shower curtain that I intend to continue to use.