Google CEO Sundar Pichai’s testimony: 3 key takeaways
Google CEO Sundar Pichai will tout the tech giant’s contributions to the U.S. economy and deny that its search engine engages in political bias in prepared remarks reviewed in this article before the House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday.
Pichai will take questions as part of a hearing entitled “Transparency & Accountability: Examining Google and its Data Collection, Use and Filtering Practices.” President Trump and leading GOP lawmakers have repeatedly accused Google of exhibiting bias and suppressing conservative viewpoints in favor of progressive voices.
The Google chief is also expecting to shed light on the company’s reported effort to build a censored version of its search engine in China, combat fake news, protect user data, and its decision to pull a bid for a $10 billion cloud-computing contract with the U.S. military after an outcry from employees.
Here are some key takeaways from Pichai’s prepared remarks, which were posted online ahead of Tuesday’s hearing.
On contributions to US economy and military
Pichai will say Google will “never forget our American roots,” even as the company expands into other markets. His testimony will note that Google has contributed $150 billion to the US economy in the last three years and hired 24,000 new employees.
“As an American company, we cherish the values and freedoms that have allowed us to grow and serve so many users,” the testimony says. “I am proud to say we do work, and we will continue to work, with the government to keep our country safe and secure.”
On political bias
Pichai is set to reiterate Google’s denials of political bias in its products, arguing that such bias would hurt the company’s business interests.
“I lead this company without political bias and work to ensure that our products continue to operate that way,” the testimony says. “To do otherwise would go against our core principles and our business interests.”
On data security
As tech giants face increased scrutiny about their handling of private user data, Pichai will note Google’s attempts to address concerns of misuse and support for federal regulation of the industry. He will testify just one day after Google was forced to accelerate the shutdown of its social platform due to technical glitches that exposed user data.
“Protecting the privacy and security of our users has long been an essential part of our mission,” the testimony says. “We have invested an enormous amount of work over the years to bring choice, transparency and control to our users.”