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In smart metering systems, a rechargeable battery can be utilized to protect the privacy of a user from the utility provider by partially masking the load profile of the user. In this line of research on using rechargeable batteries for privacy protection, most existing works have studied only single-user systems using rechargeable batteries. In this letter, we consider a multi-user scenario where the power supplies of two or more users are combined before sending them to the utility provider. We study the effect of such a user cooperation on enhancing the user privacy by deriving upper and lower bounds on the minimum leakage rate. Our simulation results show that the information leakage of each user can be reduced by a factor of the total number of cooperative users.
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