The recent EU decisions on Google vs. rights personal data perhaps can be used as an example to advance the debate on the management of personal data from energy usage via Smart Grid. There definitely needs to be choices for the consumers to control who and when their data is accessed since they are paying for it and hence own it!
Let's call a spade a spade. The problem with the "free market" is that it inevitably leads to monopolies and high concentrations of wealth and power. The whole IP and patent system is totally against the free market. Its purpose is to have the government enforce monopolies.
The WTO has managed to emasculate governments' abilities to put in force rules that the free market desperately needs. Deregulation is the (corporate) WTO battlecry.
The hydro grid is vital to any country's economy. Allowing the "free market" to determine grid network standards would turn out like the FCC's cop-out on AM stereo, where decoders for 3 "standards" became the norm for AM stereo receivers. Small wonder that AM stereo died. (Incidentally, AM on a good receiver is indistinguishable in quality from FM - I've compared simulcasts on Detroit's WXYZ AM and FM on a MacIntosh tuner and couldn't tell the difference on studio monitors. That was an ear opener.)
Security of networks should be the greatest concern for the power grid. A knowledgeable hacker could destroy equipment that would take months to manufacture replacements. The effects would be an unimaginable nightmare.
We can take a lesson on the need for government intervention in the pharmaceutical industry. There are no new antibiotics on the way as the research the companies prefer to do is on drugs that they can charge $100,00 a year for. The human carnage of an effective antibiotic free world is a nightmare that governments seem to have lost the will to address. Even Hollywood is afraid to portray a world where hydro is out and antibiotics no longer work.
Like the title reads, the private sector has everything. They even make the software required for governments to boost up cyber security. The only problem is that private companies have very little authority over public data, and this is where the government scores. Although it may be true that government has some weird laws about communicational standards, and they should definitely let companies choose their standards for themselves. Additionally, the standards set by the companies would be cost efficient and easy to implement, which would mean the lowering of the average price of goods.