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Between a rock and a hard place: Elon Musk's open letter and the Italian ban of Chat-GPT

Onlife - Floridi - 3 uur 35 min geleden

Interview by Adele Sarno for HuffPost, the Italian original is here
The following English translation is provided by Google, apologies for any imprecision.

Luciano Floridi, the digital philosopher, works between Oxford and Bologna, from next summer, he will leave Oxford to direct the Center for Digital Ethics at Yale. He has received the highest honour granted by the Italian Republic: Cavaliere di Gran Croce. According to the Elsevier Scopus database, he is the most cited living philosopher in the world. If today we talk about the "philosophy of information", it is thanks to him, who for 30 years, studied the connections between philosophy and the digital world.

Professor Floridi, ChatGPT has been at the centre of the debate, especially these days. Elon Musk and a thousand other experts have written a letter asking for its development to be stopped for six months. In Italy, on the other hand, the privacy guarantor has decided to stop for 20 days until it complies with the privacy regulations. What's going on?

"As soon as ChatGPT came out, the controversy started, but I suggested not to block such tools, and to teach their proper use in school. They are handy tools, flexible, powerful, and easy to use. It makes no sense to demonise them. But when there is something new, the first instinct is to stop it, waiting for something to happen. You see the problem, but you don't offer a solution."

What can happen now that the Italian Data Protection Authority has stopped the use of ChatGPT in Italy?

"It is a draconian reaction which to me seems potentially excessive because the solution should be a compromise, not a blockade. The Italian Data Protection Authority is right when it says that the service is aimed at those over 13, but the program has no real verification filters. It collects all your data when you interact with it; they inform you clearly before using it. And advertising will probably come too. Not to mention the training data and the data leaks. So there is a privacy risk, and data management is certainly not up to European standards. But introducing more serious online registration, and a more regulated use of data should be the way forward. In short, going from 'free for all, do anything' to 'blocked' seems excessive and risky. I believe that looking for other possible solutions is a must. I hope that we are working in this direction".

The Italian Data Protection Authority on HuffPost says he has nothing against progress. But innovation cannot be done at the expense of people's rights. In particular, he claims that ChatGPT is trained thanks to billions of data from billions of people, so it must be blocked.

"There are at least two main problems with doing this. The first is that ChatGPT will continue to be used, because, in this case, a VPN is all you need, and therefore an underground usage and the usual rift will be created between those who know how to do these things and those who have no idea. With consequences that reach even a deeper level: just think of the schools where it will be impossible, at least legally, to educate in the good use of this tool, of the world of research - I use GPT4 daily - or of the world of work, where for example, it is commonly used to write lines of code. Furthermore, a context is created which replaces dialogue with confrontation. Then there is the uncertainty regarding all those contexts in which systems, such as ChatGPT and other so-called Large Language Models, are already integrated into search engines, as in the case of Microsoft".

The Italian Data Protection Authority also says that the block depends on the fact that the information provided by this technology is inaccurate.

"On inadequacy, two aspects can be distinguished. On the one hand, the system errs on the side of caution because you have to work hard to make it say something bad or wrong. It's a do-gooder, doesn't even give you the recipe for horsemeat, and lectures you if you don't ask the right question about it. On the other hand, it is a statistical system, and sometimes the answers are completely unreliable or made up. I recently had to summarise my work for the usual, bureaucratic, mindless reasons, and GPT4 described me as a Belgian philosopher. At the same time, the summaries of the books were very good.".

So the block doesn't make much sense?
I don't know all the reasons that led to the decision. The effect is that Italy is now out of the development of this technology. Because I expect that, for consistency, the block should be applied to all the various similar applications produced by Google, Meta, Microsoft, and so on. But how can we curb a phenomenon that is already underway? Do we stop search engines along with ChatGPT? In a context where there is commercial competition, and where the interests are tens of billions of dollars, it is difficult to stop everything voluntarily, for fear of science fiction scenarios, as in the case of the letter, or by going through a total blockade of technology, as in Italy. Not only will no one stop. But, in the case of the letter, it is a hypocritical operation. If then one requires that the instrument, to be usable, must be infallible like a calculator, we know that it will never be, because it is neither deterministic nor controllable like a calculator. It is inherently fallible because it is based on statistical analysis done on billions of data points. If this is the reasoning, then you are asking the impossible; in fact, you are saying that this tool can never be used. It reminds me of what happened with synthetic meat in Italy [note: the production has been banned]. Instead, we should try to understand how best to regulate the use of these technologies, mind you, not the technologies themselves, but how they are used, for what purposes, what we do with them, and in which contexts. In part, European legislation is coming to this, but only in part".

Yet Musk and a thousand other GPT4 experts wrote a letter saying we are creating super-powerful digital minds.

"The letter is a bad soup of things: good and a little trivial, wrong and science fiction. That passage about super-powerful digital minds sounds like something from a bad Hollywood script. It disinforms and scares, distracting from the real issues. A bit like raising the alarm for the possible arrival of zombies.".

Yet it was signed by over a thousand experts in the AI sector.

"It's as if we had a rope with many strands. One is that of disinformation. Another is that of mass media fame and prominence as an influencer. Then there are the naive, those who want to feel part of a community, those who think it's better than nothing, those who believe that zombies are coming, those who have good intentions and click on "sign here" without thinking twice, following the flock, those who want to shift attention to technology and not to those who produce or use it, those who wish to promote self-regulation and postpone the arrival of legislation. I certainly won't sign it. A single rope is created from all these strands that drags the same effects: alarmism about the wrong things, scientific disinformation, protagonism, and public distraction. Two small examples: there is no reference to all the significant legislative developments on AI, not only in Europe but also in America, or to the environmental impact of these technologies. And it is omitted that we have been recommending self-regulation for a decade, without any effect, remaining unheard of precisely by the producers of the AI in question and by some promoters of the letter, such as Elon Musk. In the rope, there is, therefore, also a strand called hypocrisy.

He talked about it several times on HuffPost. The infosphere is still a new place in the common imagination and is based on the circulation of information, here whoever controls the information has the keys to everything. Isn't there a risk that in the absence of clear rules, the same mistake that the Clinton administration made 30 years ago will still be made? Leave such fundamental decisions to the big Big Tech companies of Silicon Valley, and somehow delegate everything to self-regulation?

"I don't know if this is the end of the letter. But that's the risk we run. As I was saying, there are many strands in the rope, and the reasons that hold them together are different, but together these strands deliver something. And I fear that this something is delaying legislation, a further attempt at self-regulation, a mass distraction on problems that are not the real ones, namely manipulation, disinformation, the extraordinary power of control of the producers of these tools over who uses them, and then the misuse by those who ordinarily deploy these tools for immoral or illegal purposes, just think of organised crime or regime propaganda. All of this is without mentioning the environmental impact, which is very significant. It is sensational to shift the attention and blame for everything on generative and non-generative artificial intelligence, when actually the real problems are upstream, with those who produce it, and downstream, with those who use it badly and hence with their misuse. I fear that there is bad faith in those who lead this operation, and a lot of naivety in those who have joined the queue".

Let's talk about legislation, a fundamental element that unites the provision of the Guarantor and the letter. Where are we?

"ChatGPT is a great tool, and one needs to know how to use it well. But above all, we need to understand how to manage it from a regulatory point of view. European legislation is on the way, with the AI Act. It can be criticised and improved, but it is a good step in the right direction. However, it has a fundamental problem: it focuses on artificial intelligence as if it were a product whose safety must be guaranteed, imagine a microwave oven, and not on its use and applications, which can be benevolent, or malevolent and highly risky. But AI is not an artefact or a product; it is a service, i.e., a form of agency, an ability to carry out tasks or solve problems. For this reason, now is the time to understand what regulatory framework must be designed for this technological innovation. There is still time to regulate its uses, straighten the course, and work on the "how" and not the "what".

So, without a clear regulatory framework, did the Italian Data Protection Authority appeal to the GDPR?

"The Italian Data Protection Authority has requested Open AI to comply with the GDPR. But if we are asking – and I emphasise the if – that these systems must, for example, obtain permission to use all public web pages written in Italian to learn how to interact in Italian, and that they must then always be correct when they provide the requested information from an Italian user, then we are asking for the impossible. It seems to me that the regulatory framework is not adequate, because the only thing that can be done with it is to ban it. A bit like using the legislation on carriages to apply it to cars. But history teaches us, prohibition is useless: it's like blocking the sea with a colander. This is why I hope that the initial "if" is just my interpretative error".

Much ado about something that someone has compared to a parrot.

"No, no, a parrot is much smarter. GPT4 is much more like a "linguistic calculator", shall we say. It is a syntactic calculator, which treats natural language as if it were mathematics: it doesn't memorise and repeat a solution, it creates it. The question is not what answers it can give, but what you do with those answers. Plato already said it: the expert is the one who, above all, knows how to ask the right questions. It is better to understand how to use and teach it, than to ban it. It seems to me that the arrival of these tools actually purifies the true essence of human intelligence, because it detaches it from any form of encyclopedism, the ability to remember a thousand facts, and mere erudition. It is the question, and the purpose of the question that makes the difference.".

Is there a risk, especially in the absence of legislation, that our social networks are literally overwhelmed by fake news and deepfakes?

"It is a severe danger, which is also briefly indicated in the letter, one of the few good things about that text: we run the risk of deep and serious pollution, especially on social media. This can be summed up in two words: disinformation and manipulation. For those who want to perpetrate both, such powerful tools, which create and manage any content, language, image, sound, or video, are ideal. They allow for industrial processing. This problem is serious. The solution is: more and better legislation, as soon as possible. No sci-fi worries or Draconian blocks".

PS "Notes to myself" is available as a book on Amazon: ow.ly/sGyh50KfRra



Onlife - Luciano Floridi's blog

FIRE on the Shaviro case at Wayne State

Leiter Reports: A Philosophy Blog - 6 uur 25 min geleden
Following up on this, here is FIRE's informative statement on the case. It explains the applicable legal standards methodically. Brian Leiter

Trouble for ethical vegans and vegetarians

Leiter Reports: A Philosophy Blog - 31 maart 2023 - 3:49pm
Plants "cry" (and animals hear them!). (Thanks to Joshua Selby for the pointer.) Brian Leiter

Blast from the past: Descartes and Teresa of Avila

Leiter Reports: A Philosophy Blog - 31 maart 2023 - 1:33pm
Back in 2017, with expert reader discussion of the relationship. Brian Leiter

Wes Anderson Goes Sci-Fi in 1950s America: Watch the Trailer for His New Film Asteroid City

Open Culture - 31 maart 2023 - 1:00pm

Wes Anderson has been making feature films for 27 years now, and in that time his work has grown more temporally and geographically specific. Though shot in his native Texas in the late nineteen-nineties, his breakout picture Rushmore seemed to take place in no one part of the United States — and even more strikingly, no one identifiable era. Few filmgoers had seen anything like Anderson’s clean-edged retro sensibility before, and in subsequent projects like The Royal Tenenbaums and The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, it intensified considerably. Then, in 2012, came Moonrise Kingdom, which took the Andersonian aesthetic to a particular time and place: New England in the fall of 1965.

Since then, Anderson and his collaborators have told stories in their distinctive visions of Eastern Europe, Japan, and France — but always, explicitly or implicitly, in one period or another of the mid-twentieth century. Judging by its newly released trailer, the events of Anderson’s next film Asteroid City occur in perhaps the most mid-twentieth-century year imaginable, 1955, and in small-town America at that.

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Or rather, very small-town America: Asteroid City itself appears to be located in the middle of the Arizona desert (though shot in Spain, in keeping with Anderson’s increasingly Europe-oriented production habits), and with nothing more exciting going on — apart from the occasional distant nuclear-weapons test — than an annual “junior stargazer competition.”

The film “tells the story of a beleaguered widower (Jason Schwartzman) who’s busy schlepping his four children across the country to see their grandfather (Tom Hanks) when their car suddenly breaks down,” writes The Verge’s Charles Pulliam-More. This strands the family in the titular town, with its “strange earthquakes that no one knows the true cause of, fears about whether aliens might be lurking among the humans living in Asteroid City, and multiple sightings of a celebrity (Scarlett Johansson).” As fans can already guess from this summary, the ensemble cast includes more than a few Anderson regulars, also including Edward Norton, Adrien Brody, Willem Dafoe, Jeff Goldblum, and Bob Balaban. A case of COVID-19 kept Bill Murray from participating, but even so, nobody who sees the trailer can doubt that the viewing experience of Asteroid City will be highly Andersonian indeed.

Related content:

Wes Anderson Explains How He Writes and Directs Movies, and What Goes Into His Distinctive Filmmaking Style

Why Do Wes Anderson Movies Look Like That?

Wes Anderson’s Shorts Films & Commercials: A Playlist of 8 Short Andersonian Works

The Perfect Symmetry of Wes Anderson’s Movies

Wes Anderson & Yasujiro Ozu: New Video Essay Reveals the Unexpected Parallels Between Two Great Filmmakers

Wes Anderson’s Breakthrough Film, Rushmore, Revisited in Five Video Essays: It Came Out 20 Years Ago Today

Based in Seoul, Colin Marshall writes and broadcasts on cities, language, and culture. His projects include the Substack newsletter Books on Cities, the book The Stateless City: a Walk through 21st-Century Los Angeles and the video series The City in Cinema. Follow him on Twitter at @colinmarshall or on Facebook.

Carl Sagan Explains How the Ancient Greeks, Using Reason & Math, Discovered That the Earth Isn’t Flat Over 2,000 Years Ago

Open Culture - 31 maart 2023 - 10:00am

The denial of science suffuses American society, and no matter what the data says, some conservative forces refuse efforts to curtail, or even study, climate change. Astrophysicist Katie Mack calls this retrenchment a form of “data nihilism,” writing in an exasperated tweet, “What is science? How can a thing be known? Is anything even real???” Indeed, what can we expect next from what Isaac Asimov called the United States’ anti-intellectual “cult of ignorance”? A flat earth lobby?

Welp… at least a couple celebrity figures have come out as flat-earthers, perhaps the vanguard of an anti-round earth movement. Notably, [Dallas Mavericks] guard Kyrie Irving made the claim on a podcast, insisting, Chris Matyszczyk writes, that “we were being lied to about such basic things by the global elites.” Is this a joke? I hope so. Neil DeGrasse Tyson—who hosted the recent Cosmos remake to try and dispel such scientific ignorance—replied all the same, noting that Irving should “stay away from jobs that require… understanding of the natural world.” The weird affair has played out like a sideshow next to the mainstage political circus, an unsettling reminder of Carl Sagan’s prediction in his last book, The Demon Haunted World, that Americans would soon find their “critical faculties in decline, unable to distinguish between what feels good and what’s true.”

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Sagan devoted much of his life to countering anti-science trends with warmth and enthusiasm, parking himself “repeatedly, arguably compulsively, in front of TV cameras,” writes Joel Achenbach at Smithsonian. We most remember him for his original 1980 Cosmos miniseries, his most public role as a “gatekeeper of scientific credibility,” as Achenbach calls him. I think Sagan may have chafed at the description. He wanted to open the gates and let the public into scientific inquiry. He charitably listened to unscientific theories, and patiently took the time to explain their flaws.

In the very first episode of Cosmos, Sagan addressed the flat-earthers, indirectly, by explaining how Eratosthenes (276-194 BC), a Libyan-Greek scholar and chief librarian at the Library of Alexandria, discovered over 2000 years ago that the earth is a sphere. Given the geographer, mathematician, poet, historian, and astronomer’s incredible list of accomplishments—a system of latitude and longitude, a map of the world, a system for finding prime numbers—this may not even rank as his highest achievement.

In the Cosmos clip above, Sagan explains Eratosthenes’ scientific method: he made observations of how shadows change length given the position of the sun in the sky. Estimating the distance between the cities of Syene and Alexandria, he was then able to mathematically calculate the circumference of the earth, as Cynthia Stokes Brown explains at Khan Academy. Although “several sources of error crept into Eratosthenes’ calculations and our interpretation of them,” he nonetheless succeeded almost perfectly. His estimation: 250,000 stadia, or 25,000 miles. The actual circumference: 24,860 miles (40.008 kilometers).

No, of course the Earth isn’t flat. But Sagan’s lesson on how one scientist from antiquity came to know that isn’t an exercise in debunking. It’s a journey into the movement of the solar system, into ancient scientific history, and most importantly, perhaps, into the scientific method, which does not rely on hearsay from “global elites” or shadowy figures, but on the tools of observation, inference, reasoning, and math. Professional scientists are not without their biases and conflicts of interest, but the most fundamental intellectual tools they use are available to everyone on Earth.

Note: An earlier version of this post appeared on our site in 2017. This version has been lightly edited and updated.

Related Content:

Carl Sagan Predicts the Decline of America: Unable to Know “What’s True,” We Will Slide, “Without Noticing, Back into Superstition & Darkness” (1995)

Hear Carl Sagan Artfully Refute a Creationist on a Talk Radio Show: “The Darwinian Concept of Evolution is Profoundly Verified”

Carl Sagan Presents His “Baloney Detection Kit”: 8 Tools for Skeptical Thinking


Josh Jones is a writer and musician based in Durham, NC. Follow him at @jdmagness

Matomo-Praxisbericht: Wie sich das offene Webanalyse-Tool in der Anwendung macht

iRights.info - 31 maart 2023 - 8:48am

Mit Matomo lassen sich Nutzungsdaten für Websiten erheben und auswerten. Wie ist die offen lizenzierte Software zu installieren? Und wie schlägt sie sich im Alltag, auch im Vergleich mit dem Angebot des Branchenriesen Google? Das hat sich Alexander Baetz genauer angesehen.

Matomo Analytics ist eine Webanalytik-Plattform. Als datenschutzfreundliche Alternative zu Google Analytics hat sich das Tool in den letzten Jahren einen Namen gemacht. Es existiert schon seit 2007 – früher unter dem Namen Piwik – und hat mittlerweile laut eigener Aussage über eine Million Installationen.

Per Webanalyse (Web Analytics) können sich Betreiber von Websites ein Bild ihrer Nutzer*innen machen, etwa wie viele Zugriffe eine bestimmte Website hat, mit welchen Geräten der Zugriff erfolgt und wie sich die Nutzer*innen durch die Angebote klicken – oder auch wann sie abspringen. So lassen sich Muster und Trends in der Benutzung erkennen.

Ein großer Vorteil von Matomo ist, dass der Quellcode der Software unter der Open Source Lizenz GPL v3 lizensiert ist. Das bedeutet, dass alle Menschen, die Matomo einsetzen wollen, einen Blick hinter die Kulissen werfen können: So können sie beispielsweise kontrollieren, ob das Tool Sicherheitslücken hat oder zu viele Daten abfragt. Nicht-offene Dienste wie Google Analytics geben sich dagegen gerne zugeknöpft und lassen solche Einblicke nicht zu.

Neben dem offenen Quellcode hat Matomo aus Datenschutz-Sicht einen großen Vorteil: Es lässt sich selbst hosten. Der Analyse-Dienst kann auf einem eigenen Server laufen und die Nutzungsdaten landen nicht bei einem Drittanbieter. Matomo lässt sich auch ohne technische Kenntnisse in wenigen Minuten einrichten (siehe unten).

Informieren und spenden: <a href=’https://www.betterplace.org/de/projects/120241-irights-info-informationsplattform-zum-urheberrecht-in-der-digitalen-welt’ target=’_blank’>„iRights.info – Informationsplattform zum Urheberrecht in der digitalen Welt“</a> auf betterplace.org öffnen.

Web-Analytics mithilfe von Browser Fingerprinting

Auch bei Matomo stellt sich die Frage, wie genau das Tool seine Nutzerdaten erhebt. Hier kann man zwischen zwei unterschiedlichen Technologien auswählen: Den altbekannten Cookies (die z.B. auch bei Google Analytics zum Einsatz kommen) und dem Browser Fingerprinting. Wie funktioniert das?

Das Tracking mit Cookies läuft über eine kleine Datei ab, über die Besucher*innen wiedererkannt werden. Diese Datei ist im Browser abgespeichert und wird als „Cookie“ bezeichnet.

Das sogenannte „Fingerprinting“, oft auch „cookie-less tracking“ genannt, funktioniert hingegen etwas komplizierter. Hier werden mehrere Daten aus dem Browser ausgelesen, wie zum Beispiel das Betriebssystem, Browser-Plugins oder die Display-Auflösung. Laut einer Studie der Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) ist ein Browser-Fingerabdruck in 83,6 % der Fälle eindeutig. Das bedeutet, dass sich der Fingerabdruck eindeutig vom Fingerabdruck anderer Besucher*innen unterscheidet. Nutzer*innen können also rein aufgrund ihres Fingerabdrucks identifiziert werden, ohne dass weitere Tracking-Technologien (wie etwa Cookies), der Standort oder die IP-Adresse hinzugezogen werden.

Cookies: Sparsamer im Umgang mit Nutzungsdaten als Fingerprinting

Grundsätzlich stellt das Browser-Fingerprinting einen größeren Eingriff in die Privatsphäre der Nutzer*innen dar als das Tracking mit Cookies. Denn für Website-Besucher*innen ist es schwieriger, sich dem Browser-Fingerprinting zu entziehen. Cookies hingegen lassen sich einfach löschen: entweder manuell im Browser oder mithilfe spezieller Browser-Erweiterungen.

Der eigene Fingerabdruck lässt sich hingegen – ähnlich wie in der physischen Welt – nur sehr schwer regelmäßig manipulieren. Je nach eingesetzten Fingerprinting-Technologien hilft auch das Surfen im privaten Modus oder die Verwendung eines virtuellen privaten Netzwerks nichts. Auch Mozilla bezeichnet das Fingerprinting als „eine Art der Online-Verfolgung, die eingreifender ist als gewöhnliche Cookie-basierte Verfolgung“.

Wie Matomo Nutzer*innen identifiziert: Matomo generiert mittels einer Hash-Funktion eine einzigartige „config_id“, die nicht auf die ursprünglichen Daten des Nutzers zurückführen lässt. Diese ID ist maximal 24 Stunden gültig, da vergleichsweise wenige Faktoren für die Generierung miteinbezogen werden und beispielsweise auf das eingreifende Canvas-Fingerprinting verzichtet wird. Ein Nutzertracking über mehrere Wochen oder Monaten ist mit dem „Keks-losen“ Tracking von Matomo also nicht möglich.

An dieser Stelle wird bereits ein Vorteil von Matomo deutlich: Es greift weniger tief in die Trickkiste als alternative Dienste. Matomo stuft die eingesetzte Technologie nicht einmal als Fingerprinting ein. Auch wenn das aus meiner Sicht technisch nicht ganz korrekt ist, besteht doch ein großer Unterschied zu den datenhungrigen Fingerprinting-Verfahren der Konkurrenz.

Cookiefreies Tracking in Matomo (Screenshot: Alexander Baetz für iRights.info)

Matomo in der Praxis: Wie schlägt sich die Alternative zu Google Analytics? Die Installation

Die Installation von Matomo ist relativ einfach, verglichen mit anderen Open-Source-Diensten. Das WordPress-Plugin ist vor allem für Besitzer*innen von WordPress-Websites mit weniger als 50.000 monatlichen Besucher*innen die einfachste Lösung. Das Plugin ist in wenigen Minuten installiert und konfiguriert. Darüber hinaus ist kein weiterer technischer Eingriff nötig.

Matomo in WordPress: Installation als Plugin (Screenshot: Alexander Baetz für iRights.info)

Zwei Nachteile bestehen allerdings bei dieser Variante: Sie funktioniert nur für Websites, die auf WordPress basieren. Und sie benötigt vergleichsweise viel Ressourcen, da im Hintergrund bei jedem Seitenaufruf die komplette WordPress-Datenbank hochgefahren wird.

Hier kommt die zweite Variante ins Spiel: On-Premise-Hosting auf einem eigenen Server. Hier wird Matomo unabhängig von der Website installiert, beispielsweise auf einer eigenen Subdomain (wie matomo.privacytutor.de). Vorteil: Für die Installation lässt sich das gleiche Hosting verwenden wie für die eigene Website.

Für diese Möglichkeit braucht es ein gewisses technisches Know-How, da beispielsweise eine eigene Datenbank anzulegen ist. Allerdings wird man in der Dokumentation sehr gut durch die Einrichtung geführt. Auch „Nicht-Techies“ sind in wenigen Minuten damit fertig.

Die dritte Möglichkeit: Das Cloud-Hosting von Matomo. Hier kümmert sich Matomo um die Einrichtung und die Verwaltung des Dienstes. Das erübrigt technische Sorgen, ist aber kostenpflichtig. Die günstigste Variante etwa kostet 19 € pro Monat und lässt maximal 50.000 Seitenaufrufe pro Monat zu. Zudem gibt man die eigene Datenhoheit wieder aus der Hand.

Die Oberfläche

Das Design von Matomo kann leider nicht mit der intuitiven Oberfläche von Google Analytics mithalten. Die Eingewöhnungszeit kann sich daher in die Länge ziehen.

Ein weiterer Nachteil sind die fehlenden Anbindungsmöglichkeiten von Matomo. Google Analytics ist in der Industrie der Standard. Das hat dazu geführt, dass sehr viele Anbindungen zu Google Analytics existieren. Wer beispielsweise mit Google Data Studio Reports erstellen will oder seine „Facebook-Conversions“ (bestimmte Klicks oder anderes Verhalten auf der Plattform) sehen will, bekommt mit Google Analytics mehr Komfort.

Alle Grundfunktionen sind in der kostenlosen Variante von Matomo enthalten: So sind etwa die Anzahl der Nutzer*innen, die Verweildauer oder die genutzten Browser samt Bildschirm-Auflösung (Smartphone, Tablet, Monitor) einsehbar. Wer darüber hinausgehende Funktionen benötigt (wie die Integration in Online-Shops oder das Erstellen von eigenen Berichten), zahlt auch mehr. Beispielsweise kostet die Möglichkeit zum Erstellen von Custom Reports 200 € pro Jahr für On-Premise- und 100 € pro Jahr für WordPress-Plugin-Nutzer*innen.

Matomo bietet, auch in der kostenlosen Variante, alle wichtigen Kennzahlen (Screenshot Alexander Baetz für iRights.info)

Bei den Datenschutz-Funktionen liegt Matomo hingegen deutlich vor den Google-Angeboten. Obwohl Google Analytics eine ansprechende Oberfläche hat, sind die Einstellungen zum Datenschutz tief darin vergraben. Wer beispielsweise die IP-Adressen seiner Besucher*innen anonymisieren will, muss dafür in den Code eingreifen. Bei Matomo sind diese Funktionen hingegen übersichtlich und schnell zugänglich in einer eigenen Rubrik zusammengefasst.

Einstellungen zum Datenschutz in Matomo (Screenshot: Alexander Baetz für iRights.info)


Matomo Analytics schlägt sich ordentlich in der Praxis. Grundlegende Metriken lassen sich ohne Probleme tracken und die Einrichtung ist kaum schwieriger als die des Quasi-Monopolisten Google Analytics. Dafür erhält man die Hoheit über die Daten seiner Besucher*innen und respektiert die Privatsphäre der Nutzer*innen.

Inhaber*innen, deren Ansprüche über die Grundlagen hinausgehen, sollten allerdings vorab prüfen, wie gut sich Matomo für ihre Einsatzzwecke eignet. Vor allem die Integration in andere Werbe-Plattformen (wie Facebook oder LinkedIn) dürfte mit dem Analyse-Tool deutlich aufwändiger sein als mit der Alternative von Google.

Hinweis: Auch iRights.info nutzt Matomo zur Analyse von Nutzungsdaten.

iRights.info informiert und erklärt rund um das Thema „Urheberrecht und Kreativität in der digitalen Welt“.

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The post Matomo-Praxisbericht: Wie sich das offene Webanalyse-Tool in der Anwendung macht appeared first on iRights.info.

Mag en moet ik de fallout van de Acropalypse bij mijn gebruikers op gaan ruimen?

IusMentis - 31 maart 2023 - 8:11am

Een lezer vroeg me: Je zult vast hebben gelezen over de aCropalypse, een kwetsbaarheid in Google- en Windows screenshot apps die bij het croppen weggesneden informatie behielden in het bestand. Wie zo’n screenshot dan publiceert, onthult daarmee meer informatie dan zhij wil. Op forums (zoals die ik beheer) staat het dus vol met potentieel kwetsbare screenshots – denk aan weggeknipte naam- en adresgegevens, privéberichten of misschien wel privéfoto’s. Er zijn tools om dat te doen, ook in batch op alle mediabestanden op het forum. Mijn moderators en ik vragen ons af of wij dat zouden mogen doen, en of we wellicht verplicht zijn vanuit onze ICT-zorgplicht om dit te doen nu we weten van deze enorme kwetsbaarheid? Dit is inderdaad een hele pijnlijke: in plaats van een afbeelding te vervangen met zijn bijknipsel, worden de twee achter elkaar in hetzelfde bestand gestopt. Wie dus een beetje snuffelt in het bestand, kan zo het origineel terughalen. Concreet voorbeeld in deze tweet, waarbij men de volledige creditcardgegevens haalt uit een afgelakte(!) en bijgeknipte crop van een screenshot van een mail waarin (zogenaamd) de plaatser een creditcard uitgereikt krijgt. Hetzelfde kan dus spelen met huisadressen, herkenbare foto’s van je kinderen of contactgegevens die je niet bedoelde te delen.

Wie dus screenshots ergens heeft gepubliceerd of gedeeld die waren bijgewerkt met deze tools (de Markup tool van Google Pixel, Snip & Sketch for Windows 10 en Snipping Tool for Windows 11) kan dus een serieus probleem hebben. Weghalen en vervangen is dus het devies, alleen waar stonden ze ook allemaal weer?

Een forumbeheerder of image-hostingorganisatie kan in principe bij alle afbeeldingen, en zou ze met een detectie-script kunnen controleren en opschonen. Alle afbeeldingen worden dan ontdaan van de originele informatie, zodat alleen het (beoogde) screenshot met eventuele strepen en andere tekeningen overblijft. Daarmee zou de kwetsbaarheid verholpen zijn, althans voor de kopie op die site – als een derde al een kopie gedownload heeft, dan is daar niets meer aan te doen.

Nergens in de wet staat een expliciet verbod, ook nergens in de wet staat een expliciete plicht om zoiets te doen. Je komt dan inderdaad uit bij de zorgplicht voor een dienstverlener, die bepaalt dat je moet doen wat een “goed opdrachtnemer” zou doen (art. 7:401 BW). Dat is net zo’n vage term als de redelijkheid en billijkheid, dus het komt neer op een geschikte redenering.

Als eerste zullen mensen misschien denken, als beheerder of hoster ben je niet aansprakelijk voor wat mensen op je site publiceren. Dat klopt (art. 6:196c BW en vanaf 1 januari 2024 artikel 6 DSA, zie mijn nieuwe boek) maar betekent niet dat je dus niet mág ingrijpen. Het betekent alleen dat als er claims komen over die inhoud, je daar geen gehoor aan hoeft te geven. De huidige wet zegt “niet aansprakelijk”, de DSA voegt toe dat het moet gaan om “illegal information” maar dat lijkt niet echt een serieuze beperking van de oude regel te zijn. Ook staat er zowel nu als in de DSA dat je geen actieve zoekplicht hebt. Als je dus in het algemeen weet dat de aCropalypse bestaat, of dat er bij jouw forum best eens screenshots kunnen zijn die hieraan lijden, dan nog móet je niet in actie komen. Dat beperkt dus je zorgplicht.

Tegelijkertijd: het mág wel, want niets in de wet verbiedt je om actief te gaan zoeken. En het is ook niet zo dat je dan automatisch aansprakelijk wordt voor de afbeeldingen die je hebt gemist, juist omdat je dit automatisch doet met een tool die checkt op technische kenmerken. Ook over andersoortige claims over de opgeschoonde afbeeldingen maak ik me geen zorgen, je hebt immers geen idee wat daar staat omdat je het met een automatische tool deed, dus hoezo weet je dan ineens dat er iets anders mis kon zijn? Ik zie ook niets in het argument dat je dan ineens ook op criterium X of eigenschap Y zou moeten gaan controleren omdat je hebt laten zien dit te kunnen.

De enige reële tegenwerping die ik kan bedenken is bij afbeeldingen die je incorrect bewerkt. Dan maak je concreet iets stuk in een publicatie van een gebruiker. Maar ten eerste is de kans daarop vrij klein, wederom omdat je het met een tool doet die specifiek dit probleem oplost, en de oplossing is vrij rechttoe rechtaan, namelijk het weghalen van de ‘oude’ afbeelding die technisch eenduidig herkenbaar is in het bestand. Ten tweede zie ik zo even niet de schade: je beoogde een screenshot te plaatsen, wat er nu staat ís een screenshot, wat is er nu precies mis?


Het bericht Mag en moet ik de fallout van de Acropalypse bij mijn gebruikers op gaan ruimen? verscheen eerst op Ius Mentis.

Bidadanure from Stanford to NYU

Leiter Reports: A Philosophy Blog - 30 maart 2023 - 6:48pm
Juliana Bidadanure (political philosophy), Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Stanford University, has accepted appointment as Associate Professor of Philosophy (with tenure) at New York University, effective this fall. Brian Leiter

Maley, Robins from Kansas to Purdue

Leiter Reports: A Philosophy Blog - 30 maart 2023 - 5:40pm
Corey J. Maley (philosophy of computation, cognitive science, and neuroscience) and Sarah Robins (philosophy of mind and cognitive science), both Associate Professors of Philosophy at the University of Kansas, have accepted appointment as Associate Professors of Philosophy at Purdue University.... Brian Leiter

Blast from the past: A conversation about guns

Leiter Reports: A Philosophy Blog - 30 maart 2023 - 4:46pm
Back in 2012, still relevant of course given that America is still nuts on this subject. Brian Leiter

Enemies of academic freedom watch: Michael Berube edition

Leiter Reports: A Philosophy Blog - 30 maart 2023 - 2:26pm
Professor Berube is a partner-in-crime with another serial enemy of academic freedom, Jennifer Ruth (we noted awhile back a critical discussion of their terrible [indeed, incompetent] book putatively on academic freedom). A mutual friend on Facebook alerted me a few... Brian Leiter

"On the impractical gifts of an intellectual life"

Leiter Reports: A Philosophy Blog - 30 maart 2023 - 1:14pm
An interview with philosopher Zena Hitz. Brian Leiter

David Byrne Explains How the “Big Suit” He Wore in Stop Making Sense Was Inspired by Japanese Kabuki Theatre

Open Culture - 30 maart 2023 - 1:00pm

In the nineteen-seventies and eighties, the name of David Byrne’s band was Talking Heads — as the title of their 1982 live album perpetually reminds us. But their overall artistic project arguably had less to do with the head than the body, a proposition memorably underscored in Stop Making Sense, the Jonathan Demme-directed concert film that came out two years later. “Music is very physical and often the body understands it before the head,” Byrne says in a bizarre contemporary self-interview previously featured here on Open Culture. To make that fact visible onstage, “I wanted my head to appear smaller, and the easiest way to do that was to make my body bigger.”

Hence costume designer Gail Blacker’s creation of what Talking Heads fans have long referred to as the “big suit.” Byrne has always been willing discuss its origins, which he traces back to a trip to Japan. There, as he put it to Entertainment Weekly in 2012, he’d “seen a lot of traditional Japanese theater, and I realized that yes, that kind of front-facing outline, a suit, a businessman’s suit, looked like one of those things, a rectangle with just a head on top.”

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A friend of his, the fashion designer Jurgen Lehl, said that “everything is bigger on stage.” “He was referring to, I think, gestures and the way you walk and what not,” Byrne told David Letterman in 1984. But he took it literally, thinking, “Well, that solves my costume problem right there.”

Though Byrne only wore the big suit for one number, “Girlfriend Is Better” (from whose lyrics Stop Making Sense takes its title), it became the acclaimed film’s single most iconic element, referenced even in children’s cartoons. New Yorker critic Pauline Kael called it “a perfect psychological fit,” remarking that “when he dances, it isn’t as if he were moving the suit — the suit seems to move him.” The association hasn’t been without its frustrations; he once speculated that his tombstone would be inscribed with the phrase “Here lies David Byrne. Why the big suit?” But now that Stop Making Sense is returning to theaters in a new 4K restoration, nearly 40 years after its first release, he’s accepted that the time has finally come to pick it up from the cleaner’s. Unsurprisingly, it still fits.

Related content:

A Brief History of Talking Heads: How the Band Went from Scrappy CBGB’s Punks to New Wave Superstars

An Introduction to Japanese Kabuki Theatre, Featuring 20th-Century Masters of the Form (1964)

How Talking Heads and Brian Eno Wrote “Once in a Lifetime”: Cutting Edge, Strange & Utterly Brilliant

Japanese Kabuki Actors Captured in 18th-Century Woodblock Prints by the Mysterious & Masterful Artist Sharaku

How Jonathan Demme Put Humanity Into His Films: From The Silence of the Lambs to Stop Making Sense

Talking Heads Live in Rome, 1980: The Concert Film You Haven’t Seen

Based in Seoul, Colin Marshall writes and broadcasts on cities, language, and culture. His projects include the Substack newsletter Books on Cities, the book The Stateless City: a Walk through 21st-Century Los Angeles and the video series The City in Cinema. Follow him on Twitter at @colinmarshall or on Facebook.

The Complete “Everything is a Remix”: An Hour-Long Testament to the Brilliance & Beauty of Human Creativity

Open Culture - 30 maart 2023 - 10:00am

Let me quote myself: “From 2010 to 2012, filmmaker Kirby Ferguson released Everything is a Remix, a four-part series that explored art and creativity, and particularly how artists inevitably borrow from one another, draw on past ideas and conventions, and then turn these materials into something beautiful and new. In the initial series, Ferguson focused on musicians, filmmakers, writers and even video game makers. Now, a little more than a decade later, Ferguson has resurfaced and released a fifth and final chapter in his series, with this episode focusing on a different kind of artist: artificial intelligence.” Above, you can watch the complete edition of “Everything is a Remix,” with all parts combined into a single, hour-long video. A transcript of the entire production can be found here. Watch. Ponder. Create.

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Related Content 

The Long Game of Creativity: If You Haven’t Created a Masterpiece at 30, You’re Not a Failure

David Lynch Explains How Meditation Enhances Our Creativity

Malcolm McLaren: The Quest for Authentic Creativity

Mihaly Czikszentmihalyi Explains Why the Source of Happiness Lies in Creativity and Flow, Not Money


Smoelenboek belandt in supermarkt na overlast, school meldt datalek, is het dat wel?

IusMentis - 30 maart 2023 - 8:14am

Een filiaal van de Albert Heijn in Den Haag kon overlastgevende scholieren in de gaten houden nadat een smoelenboek van het Maerlant-Lyceum in de supermarkt was beland. Dat meldde Omroep West onlangs. De conrector loste het datalek adequaat op door het boek op te gaan halen en te vragen of de Appie voortaan gewoon de politie wil bellen als ze strafbare feiten ziet. Het blijkt te zijn gegaan om een papieren smoelenboek, dus dat gaf wat vragen bij de AVG-deskundige lezers.

Hoe kon dit boek daar terechtkomen? Een oud-medewerker van de school heeft het boek aan de supermarkt gegeven. Daarmee konden medewerkers de foto, voor- en achternaam en schoolnummer van de leerlingen zien. ‘In het verleden heeft het filiaal onze hulp gevraagd bij de ongeregeldheden in de supermarkt’, vertelt tijdelijke rector van de school, Peter Reenalda. ‘Naar aanleiding van die vraag is het smoelenboek daar terechtgekomen.’ Het gaat dus echt om een papieren ding met kaft, geen app of online toegang tot het leerlingvolgsysteem. Nog steeds handig natuurlijk als je een vervelende scholier te pakken hebt en je wilt weten hoe die heet, even bladeren en je bent er zo uit. Het boek is bedoeld voor intern gebruik: Het smoelenboek van de Haagse school wordt alleen onder een zeer beperkt aantal medewerkers verspreid. ,,We hebben op school een aantal exemplaren liggen. Voor een conciërge is het bijvoorbeeld heel handig bij het registreren van te-laat-komers ‘s ochtends. Dan hoef je dat niet allemaal in een computer op te zoeken.” Ik ga er maar even vanuit dat het een alfabetisch (en op klas) gesorteerd overzicht is van namen, foto’s en schoolnummer. Het is een papieren document, dus dan is de AVG alleen van toepassing als het gaat om een ‘bestand’. Dat is (art. 4 lid 6 AVG): elk gestructureerd geheel van persoonsgegevens die volgens bepaalde criteria toegankelijk zijn, ongeacht of dit geheel gecentraliseerd of gedecentraliseerd is dan wel op functionele of geografische gronden is verspreid; De eerste vraag is dan: is een lijst met foto’s en namen een “gestructureerd geheel”. Ik ben geneigd te zeggen van wel. Maar is het volgens “bepaalde criteria” (meervoud) toegankelijk? Ik neig naar nee, omdat je eigenlijk alleen op naam er in kunt zoeken. In een zaak uit 2005 bepaalde de Hoge Raad dat het enkel chronologisch ordenen van stukken over een persoon niet aan dit criterium voldoet. Maar die stukken waren zelf niet bepaald geordend of makkelijk door te zoeken, terwijl dat bij een lijst met scholieren wél het geval is.

In 2018 oordeelde het Hof van Justitie dat lijsten met namen en adressen van mensen die je deur-aan-deur wilt bezoeken (of juist niet) eronder vallen: [Onder] het in deze bepaling gebruikte begrip ‘bestand’ ook valt een geheel van in het kader van een van-huis-tot-huisverkondiging verzamelde persoonsgegevens, bestaande uit de naam en het adres van en andere informatie over de aan huis bezochte personen, wanneer deze gegevens zijn gestructureerd volgens specifieke criteria die het in de praktijk mogelijk maken deze gegevens gemakkelijk terug te vinden voor een later gebruik ervan. Om onder dit begrip te vallen hoeft een dergelijk geheel geen steekkaarten, specifieke lijsten of andere ordeningssystemen te omvatten. Een smoelenboek lijkt me evenzo bedoeld om “in de praktijk gemakkelijk de gegevens terug te vinden”, het hele punt is immers dat je gegeven een smoel wilt bepalen om welke persoon het gaat. Dus dan is het inderdaad een bestand, en is het een datalek als het bij een onbevoegde instantie terecht komt.

Wat dat laatste betreft: ja, het is aan Albert Heijn gegeven door een kennelijk bevoegd persoon, namelijk een medewerker die dacht dat dit een goed idee was. Maar dat is niet relevant bij de vraag of iets een datalek is. Daarbij gaat het er alleen om of de persoonsgegevens bij een onbevoegde partij terecht zijn gekomen, en niet of dat door misdrijf, per ongeluk of door een andere reden is gebeurd.



Het bericht Smoelenboek belandt in supermarkt na overlast, school meldt datalek, is het dat wel? verscheen eerst op Ius Mentis.

Enroll Today for Online Courses with Stanford Continuing Studies: Open Culture Readers Get 15% Off

Open Culture - 30 maart 2023 - 1:56am

A heads up for Open Culture readers: This spring, Stanford Continuing Studies has a rich lineup of online courses, and they’re offering a special 15% discount to our readers. Just use the promo code CULTURE during checkout.

Serving lifelong learners everywhere, Stanford Continuing Studies will launch its spring curriculum next week (the week of April 3), letting you choose from over 100 courses. Among the courses, you will find some notable mentions:

Defending Democracy at Home and Abroad features three Stanford scholars (including the former US ambassador to Russia Mike McFaul) who will examine the uncertain state of democracy at home and abroad. Together, they will explore 1) the merits of democracy compared with the alternatives, 2) challenges to democracy both in the US and across the globe, and 3) solutions for protecting and advancing democracy everywhere.

With Stanford Monday University: 2023, five Stanford scholars will focus on important trends currently shaping our society, especially after the pandemic. What’s the future of working from home, and how will remote work affect the economy of the United States? Why have addictions—including to devices and screens—skyrocketed in the US, and how can a dopamine fast help bring them under control? Why has the modern economy left behind so many working-class communities in America, and how can investment in these communities help address the wealth inequalities in our country? These, and other questions, will be explored in the course.

Finally, in The Book of Change: Ovid, Art, and Us, art historian Alexander Nemerov–voted one of Stanford’s top 10 professors by Stanford students–will examine Ovid’s Metamorphoses and the great works of art inspired by the Roman classic. Along the way, he will explore paintings by Peter Paul Rubens, Diego Velázquez, and Nicolas Poussin, plus sculptures by Gian Lorenzo Bernini.

Stanford Continuing Studies also offers a large number of online creative writing courses and online business courses. See the complete lineup of courses here. And remember to use the promo code CULTURE during checkout to get your 15% discount. The code expires on April 30.

In Memoriam: Maria Rosa Antognazza (1964-2023)

Leiter Reports: A Philosophy Blog - 29 maart 2023 - 6:19pm
A longtime member of the philosphy faculty at King's College, London, Professor Antognazza was especially well-known for her work on Leibniz, on epistemology and on philosophy of religion. The KCL memorial notice is here. Comments are open for remembrances from... Brian Leiter

Oxford's other "diversity crisis": it helps to be rich to become an academic

Leiter Reports: A Philosophy Blog - 29 maart 2023 - 3:01pm
A story at The Economist (behind their paywall alas); an excerpt: Notably, Oxford does not publish data on the socio-economic backgrounds of its permanent academics. But I found, in nearly 30 interviews with fixed-term, permanent and former academics, that those... Brian Leiter


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