The Woman Who Showed Up To The Senate Equifax Hearing Dressed As ‘Monopoly Man’ Is The Hero America Needs
The former CEO of Equifax, Richard Smith, testified today before a Senate Committee panel about the security breach that compromised the personal information of 145.5 million Americans. Potentially leaked information includes names, birth dates, social security numbers, addresses, and possibly driver’s license numbers.
I don't know if you've ever watched any of these senate committee hearings before, but usually they're incredibly boring and the only reason to really watch them is to see an asshole CEO (whose company found a way to manipulate laws in order to make a billion dollars) get grilled by a bunch of asshole senators (who draft crappy laws that are easy to manipulate).
But the star of today's hearing wasn't the CEO (who looks like the mad scientist in a movie who performs illegal experiments on human subjects) or a senator, it was the woman dressed as 'Monopoly Man' (aka Rich Uncle Pennybags) who sat directly behind the former Equifax CEO.
The woman, Amanda Werner, is the arbitration campaign manager for the consumer advocacy groups Public Citizen and Americans for Financial Reform. On Twitter, Werner said, "I am dressed as the Monopoly Man to call attention to Equifax and Wells Fargo's use of forced arbitration as a get-out-of-jail-free card for massive misconduct. They use these ripoff clauses buried in the fine print to ensure that consumers can't join together to hold them accountable in court."
To be honest, I didn’t realize how bad the Equifax data breach was until I heard rumors that people in the government are actually considering getting rid of social security numbers altogether. Whenever the government takes action on anything involving the financial sector you should always consider it a HUGE RED FLAG. So, be on the lookout for any suspicious behavior on any of your accounts because statistically speaking, either you or I have had our information stolen.
That being said, I commend this woman for finding a brilliant and unique way to get her group's message out to the world. But arbitrary clauses are not going anywhere. Without them, the courts would be completely overrun with lawsuits and people would have to wait years for their day in court. Unfortunately, banks, credit card companies, and Roger Goodell are able to exploit these limitations on the courts and use it to their advantage. The only way to give power back to the consumer would be for Congress and Trump to come together to regulate the use of forced arbitration clauses. So yeah, that's not going to happen anytime soon.