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Google CEO Sundar Pichai tells Congress his side of the story

After Facebook (FB), it was pal Google’s turn to face Congress. The Alphabet (GOOGL) subsidiary’s CEO, Sundar Pichai, testified before the House Judiciary Committee for the first time on Tuesday, where he was asked questions about political bias, data security and the proposed Chinese search engine.

The Google chief was asked about bias against conservative content on its platforms. Google was accused of muzzling conservative voices and content on its platforms earlier this year, a claim the company has denied, helped by the fact that there is no evidence that its search results are tampered with. Google was also criticised for giving priority to its services over that of other providers through its search results.

Google has faced flak on several occasions this year with regards to its methods of data collection. When asked whether it was being straightforward towards its users on this issue, Pichai said the company was doing its best to make data management as easy as possible for users. Pichai also expressed a positive opinion on global regulation of tech companies.

Google faces hefty fines in Europe for GDPR violation

Google was asked about its plans to build a censored search engine in China and about the effects of the company’s actions on freedom in the Asian country. Pichai said the company had no plans of launching a search app in China at present but did not rule out the possibility of doing so in future.

The Google CEO termed the access to information as an important human right and said the company would be unequivocal with lawmakers if it decides to roll out a search app in China. Several leading tech companies have come under the spotlight this year on issues related to data privacy, security, misinformation, and hate speech on their platforms.

Google faced its share of controversies along with protests from its employees on some of its projects and actions. The company was also blamed for trying to avoid scrutiny after it failed to send its top executives to an earlier hearing on election-meddling a few months ago.

As of 3:30 pm ET, Alphabet’s stock was up 1.5%.

 

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