I bekeek toevallig de page source van het NRC (om een artikel achter de paywall te lezen), en vond toen dit:

“NRC zoekt per direct ervaren backend- en front-end developers. Meer informatie op github.com/nrcmedia/nrc-zoekt-developer/”

Ik weet niet of het nu grappig is zo’n easter-egg, of eigenlijk bedroevend dat van niemand anders dan ontwikkelaars verwacht wordt dat ze wel eens de bron van een webpagina bekijken.

ArjenArjen painted by Jillis Groen, after a photo of Arjen at TEDxDelft 2018 I think.

Friday evening I went to the Vrijland estate near Schaarsbergen/Arnhem. This former hq of the Dutch 11th Air Mobile Brigade (who still reside nearby) is currently used by the Hack42 collective. Here the book launch of “Infosecurity (Gran knows why)” and opening of the art exhibition “Into Nothingness” took place, in the former chapel of the estate.

Arjen Kamphuis was well known for his work on government transparency, and especially IT and online security. He e.g trained journalists on how to do their work more safely, and consulted various companies on their IT security. He also e.g. consulted the Dutch government in 2013 on why using voting computers is bad practice in an accountable democracy. Next to that he was an avid hiker and mountaineer. In August 2018, during a trip in the north of Norway he went missing, and is presumed to have died due to a kajaking accident. I’ve known Arjen through his work for well over a decade (and I’ve written about his disappearance here before). I’m sad about his disappearance, and as a result have been more active in paying what I learned from him and what he made me aware of forward since then.

Friends of Arjen have collected a selection of his writings and talks, as well as the text of his 2014 book “Information Security for Journalists” (2017 Dutch translation) that he wrote together with journalist Silkie Carlo. Friday they launched a printed version of that collection with the title “Infosecurity (Gran knows why)“. The subtitle is a reference to Arjen’s grandmother who, having witnessed WWII is said to have inspired him in his government accountability work, and in being alert to surveillance overreach like we are experiencing now in this digital age.

The launch saw some short speeches by friends and colleagues, and the chapel setting in part made it feel like for some it was also a way to say goodbye, a way to organise some sort of closure. Next to the book launch, it was also the opening of the exhibition “Into Nothingness” with paintings by Jillis Groen. Scenes from Norway’s nature and Arjen’s disappearing form.

Opening exhibit / book launch Arjen
Audience listening to Helma de Boer presenting the book

Ik kreeg de jaarlijkse aanslag voor lokale belastingen binnen, met daarin de nieuwe WOZ waardebepaling (peildatum 1-1-2019). De stijging is 8,99% t.o.v. 1-1-2018.
Over 3 jaren tijd, t.o.v. 1-1-2016, is het een stijging van 28%. Dat geeft wel aan hoe moeilijk het is voor een eerste koper, een dergelijke stijging kun je niet tegenaan werken en sparen.

Je vindt alle WOZ waarden vanaf 1-1-2015 op het WOZ Waardeloket, een openbare basisregistratie. (Die eigenlijk ook al lang open data zou moeten zijn, maar de Waarderingskamer doet zelf nog erg moeilijk over openbaarheid alleen al. “We willen eigenlijk dat het zo min mogelijk gebruikt wordt.” zei laatst een betrokkene tegen een collega. Allemaal dus wél regelmatig gebruik van maken! Use it or lose it.) Het recentste taxatierapport door je gemeente van je eigen woning vind je op mijn.overheid.nl, als je gemeente daar al aan levert tenminste. Elk jaar even downloaden voor je eigen archief, en je vindt er soms ook eerdere rapporten vanaf je koopdatum / datum waarop je gemeente werd aangesloten.

The conclusion of a report by the Norwegian consumer association, Forbrukerrådet, minces no words: adtech is systematically in breach of GDPR rules. The report’s title is Out of Control.

The extent of tracking makes it impossible for us to make informed choices about how our personal data is collected, shared and used, Finn Myrstad, director of digital policy in the Norwegian Consumer Council is quoted. This is a key issue. The GDPR demands meaningful consent, not just the token consent that sites and apps still often try to get away with. Earlier a French ruling stated much the same about a boiler plate consent form advocated by IAB and that form has since disappeared, or at least I don’t encounter it anymore during my web surfing.

It reads as if the report is the basis for various GDPR complaints in multiple EU countries, so it will be interesting to see those progress through the system.

I’m very much in agreement with Doc Searls position that GDPR is lethal to AdTech.
I came across a nice illustration of the effect (ht Tomasino). Below is an image that shows you what happens when you visit USAToday on its GDPR compliant version and its non GDPR version. Paul Calvano who made the image says “The US site is 5.5MB and contains 835 requests loaded from 188 hosts. When loaded from France it’s 297KB, 36 requests and contains no 3rd party content.” The image shows what a striking difference that is:

Cory Doctorow formulates something that I think can go onto every list of principles organisations I work with formulate for smart cities, as well as the many data ethics discussions I sit in on.

Don’t track people, help people track the environment to feed their decisions. This flipping of perpective fits with what I posted yesterday about Peter Bihr’s approach to smart cities. It also fits with my main irritation at the state of debate about self driving cars, where all is centered on the car itself. Self driving cars will need to tap into a myriad of sensor streams from lamp posts, road pavement, and whatnot.

Cory’s approach provides agency, the standard smart city approaches tend to take it away.

Bookmarked Imagining a “smart city” that treats you as a sensor, not a thing to be sensed | Cory Doctorow’s craphound.com

the idea of an Internet of Things that treats people “as sensors, not things to be sensed” — a world where your devices never share your data with anyone else to get recommendations or advice, but rather, where all the inanimate objects stream data about how busy they are and whether they’re in good repair, and your device taps into those streams and makes private recommendations, without relaying anything about you or your choices to anyone else.

As I’ve often written, the most important thing about technology isn’t what it does, but who it does it to, and who it does it for. The sizzle-reels for “smart cities” always feature a control room where wise technocrats monitor the city and everyone in it — all I’m asking is that we all get a seat in that control room.

The key insight I find I gained in the past months is that SDGs can be used to add a macroscope to most issues and challenges. So I think Peter Bihr definitely is on a useful track:

Peter Bihr posts about using the UN Human Right Charter, and more specifically the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), as a framing for responsible IoT and Smart Cities.

2019 12 Smart City Evaluation FrameworkImage Peter Bihr, license CC BY NC SA

I find using the SDGs a valuable notion to help balance any of your activities. A while ago I listened to a conversation with Taiwanese Minister Audrey Tang (唐凤), who explicitly formulates her entire job description in terms of SDGs, and that was a very useful nudge for me. I know my friend Henriette also formulates her activities in a similar way.

I currently work quite a bit with one client on policy monitoring, indicators and measurements. One of the elements I stress is that you need to be aware how indicators can create perverse impulses if used singularly, and that you need to look at any proposed set of measurements to see what they overlook and ignore. Unexpected consequences if they impact visible stakeholders probably will get incorporated over time, but externalised costs and effects (impacting people, places and systems outside your view) usually won’t. SDGs, because they cover a wide range of topics, and acknowledge the deep interconnectness and interdependencies between those varied topics, are a helpful starting point to find a balanced and nuanced approach. So that (taking a randomly imagined example) climate, poverty and equality related elements can be meaningfully incorporated into a mobility dashboard that would otherwise maybe just stick to zoomed in things like traffic density and average speed on a highway. It’s the type of zooming in and out, around a specific challenge, out to the surrounding system(s), and in to the constituent building blocks, that is a common approach in TRIZ innovation efforts, with in this case the SDGs providing a macroscope for the zooming out while maintaining local / zoomed in context.