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[ut_header align=”center” title_linebreak_mobile=”on” lead_linebreak_mobile=”on” title=”Is the Future Private ?” title_color=”#ffffff” lead_color=”rgba(255,255,255,0.8)”]Generative theatrical script about data privacy inspired by Broadway play “Privacy” and the revelations of Edward Snowden.[/ut_header]
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### Source 1: Play “Privacy”

“Privacy” is originally written by James Graham. Created by Josie Rourke and James Graham

Plot: Inspired by the revelations of Edward Snowden, Privacy explores our complicated relationship with technology and data through the funny and heart-breaking travails of a lonely guy, who arrives in the city to figure out how to like, tag, and share his life without giving it all away. The play uncovers what our technological choices reveal about who we are, what we want and who’s keeping track of it all. This provocative theatrical event will ask audiences to charge their phones, leave them ON during the performance and to embark on a fascinating dive online and into a new reality where we’re all connected…for better or worse.

The lost soul portrayed by Mr. Radcliffe, known simply as the Writer, is treated less gently. When the play begins, he has just ended a relationship with someone to whom he refers with the gender-neutral pronoun of “they.” Even speaking to his new psychiatrist, Josh Cohen (Reg Rogers), the Writer is coy about “they” — who appears to have walked out precisely because the Writer is so withholding of his innermost self.

Being English, he says, he is an instinctively private person, with “a phobia of being known.” In an effort to break down those self-isolating walls, he crosses the Atlantic to New York City, where his ex now resides. (It turns out to be a he, for the record.) Little does the Writer know, at this point, how completely known he is already, simply because he uses his smartphone and laptop.

At the center of the play is an understanding that the more we share with strangers online, the less available our interior lives become not just to our intimate relations and friends, but to ourselves.

### Source 2: Mark Zuckerberg’s Senate hearing

In 2018, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, began the first of two marathon hearings in Washington answering tough questions on the company’s mishandling of data. This was Zuckerberg’s first appearance before Congress, prompted by the revelation that Cambridge Analytica, a political consulting firm linked to the Trump campaign, harvested the data of an estimated 87 million Facebook users to psychologically profile voters during the 2016 election.

### Source 3: Edward Snowden Tweets on Facebook

### Source 4: Mark Zuckerberg’s F8 Keynote

Recently, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced during F8 developer conference, they are taking a new direction – “the future is private.” After a year plagued by controversy over whether Facebook is invading its users’ privacy and encouraging social division, it’s pushing hard on helping people connect with close family and friends.

### Process:

Data has powered our biggest and most rewarding advancements and technologies over decades. But, there’s a real challenge with protecting personal data privacy and preferences today. Issues with data and privacy might be divided into the following categories: exponential data growth, cost of maintenance, social, IoT and mobile, etc. I have combined the above source texts in form of theatrical play/script. The script starts with Author giving directions to audience, which slightly transform into senate hearing scene followed by the dialog between senators and Mark Zuckerberg. Then Snowden comes into play where tweets are expressed as juxtaposition to Zuckerberg’s reponses. Following comes a random generated dialog from the original play. The act ends with a summary generated from Zuckerberg’s F8 keynote about transforming Facebook to privacy focused social platform.

Over the course of this play, the Writer keeps learning how the Internet overrides what he thinks of as free will. He explores Google, LinkedIn, email, Twitter, Facebook and porn sites. He goes on dating sites. He gets hacked. He has his identity stolen. But in the end, he can’t answer the big question: Who owns your life?

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### Source code

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Final script

##### Characters in Act 1, Scene 1

Writer
Josh Cohen
Mum
Dad
Hairdresser
Eric Schmidt, Executive Chairman of Alphabet Inc. (Google)
Jill Lepore, professor at Harvard University
Siva Vaidhyanathan, professor at the University of Virginia
Clive Humby, inventor of the Tesco Clubcard
Sherry Turkle, professor at MIT, author of “Reclaiming Conversation”
Edward Snowden
Senators
Marc Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook

AUTHOR: Hello and welcome to The Public Theater. In order that those around you can enjoy this performance, can we please ask that you turn your cell phones – ON. You will only be required to take part in the in-flight entertainment if you have a modern smart phone. If your phone isn’t smart enough, perhaps it’s best to turn it off entirely now, to avoid any further embarrassment. This is a unique hearing. The issues we will consider range from data privacy and security to consumer protection and the Federal Trade Commission enforcement touching on jurisdictions of these two committees. We have 44 members between our two committees. That may not seem like a large group by Facebook standards… (LAUGHTER) … but it is significant here for a hearing in the United States Senate. We will do our best to keep things moving efficiently given our circumstances. Each member will have five minutes to question witnesses. We will anticipate a couple short breaks later in the afternoon. And so it’s my pleasure to provide the opportunity for the first question.

SENATOR: Thank you, Mr. Zuckerberg, for being here. I know in — up until 2014, a mantra or motto of Facebook was move fast and break things. Is that correct?

ZUCKERBERG: Yes, I believe so.

SENATOR: Thanks, Mr. Chairman. Mr. Zuckerberg, what is Facebook doing to prevent foreign actors from interfering in U.S. elections?

ZUCKERBERG: Yes. So what we’re going to do is require a valid government identity and we’re going to verify the location. So we’re going to do that so that way someone sitting in Russia, for example, couldn’t say that they’re in America and, therefore, able to run an election ad.

SENATOR: They certainly know within the Facebook pages who their friends are, but they may not know as has happened — and you’ve conceded this point in the past, that sometimes that information is going way beyond their friends, and sometimes people have made money off of sharing that information, correct?

ZUCKERBERG: I believe deeply in what we are doing. My top priority has always been our social mission of connecting people, building community and bringing the world closer together. Advertisers and developers will never take priority over that, as long as I am running Facebook.

SENATOR: If you messaged anybody this week, would you share with us the names of the people you’ve messaged?

ZUCKERBERG: Absolutely.

SENATOR: And is that true for — is this practice done at all with minors, or do you make an exception there for persons aged 13 to 17?

ZUCKERBERG: It is opt-in. You — you have to affirmatively say that you want to sync that information before we get access to it.

SNOWDEN: I doubt! While I have never “opted in” to Facebook or any of the other big social networks, Facebook still has a detailed profile to target me. I have never consented to having Facebook collect my data.

JOSH COHEN: OK, if you could put those phones down now then – I see we have a lot of compulsive email checkers here tonight. “Is it wrong to – look at your phones when I’m talking”. Yes it is.

JILL LEPORE: We’re not on our own, in this world, we live in communities, we live in families, this “privacy” fetish is really your denial about having a family, of taking care of others.

WRITER: Right can you stop talking about me like I’m not here, because actually, I’m the only one who really is here.

AUTHOR: Meanwhile, according to the latest news announced at Facebook: Like the ability to save your spot in newsfeed so you can share to groups the same way you share with friends and family on Instagram, and on Whatsapp.

Lights out.

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