‘Monopoly man’ returns for Google CEO hearing

An activist who attends congressional hearings dressed as the mustachioed Monopoly mascot returned to Capitol Hill on Tuesday to attend a hearing with Google CEO Sundar Pichai. 
Ian Madrigal sat a few rows behind Pichai during the House Judiciary Committee hearing. 
{mosads}Madrigal, who uses gender-neutral pronouns, said in an emailed statement that their presence as Rich Uncle Pennybags is meant to draw attention to Google’s lobbying efforts in Congress, as well as the search engine giant’s access to customer data.
“Google spent $18 million lobbying politicians in 2017 — more than any other company,” Madrigal said. “In return, Congress has abandoned its oversight role and allowed Google to wield monopoly power over every person who uses the internet.”
“We have no say in how Google uses even our most personal data, and the only way to opt out is to boycott the internet itself,” Madrigal added. “We can’t rely on tech giants to self-regulate. It is past time for Congress to step in and do its job.”
Madrigal first appeared at the Senate Banking Committee’s 2017 hearing on the massive Equifax data breach, sitting directly behind then-Equifax CEO Richard Smith and occasionally making a show of crinkling dollar bills. 
Throughout Smith’s hearing, Madrigal adjusted their monocle, wiped their face with a larger-than-life $100 bill and finally chased the consumer credit reporting firm’s chief into an elevator with a bag of money.  
Pichai’s hearing on Tuesday marks the first time the Google CEO has publicly testified before a congressional committee. He is likely to face questions about allegations of bias against conservatives, data security and the company’s reported work on a censored Chinese search engine.

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