Why A Woman Dressed As The Monopoly Man Crashed The Equifax Hearing

Photo: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg/Getty Images.
Former Equifax CEO Richard Smith didn't appear to notice the Monopoly Man in the room — or rather, the woman dressed as Rich Uncle Pennybags. But reporters, and hopefully members of the Senate Banking Committee, sure did.
Amanda Werner, sporting the top hat, monocle and bushy mustache of the recognizable board-game mascot, wasn't just there for photobombing purposes. According to CNBC, she attended the banking committee hearing on the Equifax data breach today in protest on behalf of Americans for Financial Reform and Public Citizen. While Smith testified about the data breach that compromised more than 145 million people's personal information, claiming "full responsibility," Werner was there to bring awareness to forced-arbitration clauses, which AFR says the financial industry uses to keep consumers from filing lawsuits.
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Werner was fully in character, adjusting her bow tie and dabbing sweat off her forehead. She also handed out "Get out of jail free" cards. "Arbitration is a rigged game," Werner said in an emailed statement to CNBC. "Bank lobbyists and their allies in Congress are trying to overturn the [Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's] rule so they can continue to rip off consumers with impunity."
Americans for Financial Reform tweeted that the action was meant "to protest Equifax's behavior in the wake of the breach, and to draw attention" to forced arbitration.
When news of the breach first came out, Equifax offered consumers a credit-monitoring service that required them to accept arbitration, which means they would waive their rights to legal action. Equifax has since removed this requirement.
"We've added an FAQ to our website to confirm that enrolling in the free credit-file monitoring and identity-theft protection that we are offering as part of this cybersecurity incident does not waive any rights to take legal action," the agency said on EquifaxSecurity2017.com.
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