Google CEO spars with lawmakers on bias, privacy

Angelica Greene
December 15, 2018

Earlier this week, Google's CEO Sundar Pichai faced a House Judiciary Committee in the United States Congress to answer questions about recent data breaches and other important security matters.

He explained: "Any time you type in a keyword, as Google we have gone out and crawled and stored copies of billions of web pages in our index".

There are plenty of good reasons that the word "idiot" is linked with President Trump.

Rep. Steve Chabot, R-Ohio, told Pichai that he had to scroll deep into search results to find any positive articles about President Donald Trump's signature tax cuts previous year.

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The CEO also insisted that Google's search engine is not biased against any political viewpoint.

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This is to avoid people and companies being able to trick the system to climb the Google rankings. The Mountain View, Calif., company did not send a representative to a hearing in September, leading to complaints of "arrogance" on the company's part.

But Rep. Lamar Smith wasn't buying that Google had nothing to do with it and asked Pichai whether he had ever directed any employees to manipulate search results.

One person or a then of people cannot do this and decide what the user of the google would see.

The exchange set the social media on fire, making "idiot" one of the most trending stories of the day. "We recognise that such powerful technology raises equally powerful questions about its use", Pichai said in a memo posted with the principles. Rep. Ted Poe, R-Texas, at one point held up his iPhone and demanded to know whether Google would detect if he walked across the hearing room and sat among the Democratic lawmakers.

Pichai was the latest high-profile executive from Silicon Valley to address Congressional members on the handling of personal data following a flurry of breaches and manipulation of content the past two years. "But it's an area where we acknowledge there's more work to be done and will definitely continue doing that".

The company has denied any political bias, and there's no evidence of an anti-conservative tilt. "I would prefer not to regulate", said the congressman, "but I do think the application of our antitrust laws-which promote fair competition-needs to be reviewed".

Other reports by GizPress

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