Google’s Sundar Pichai is scheduled to go in front of the House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday and in anticipation, the committee has released Pichai’s written speech which will be delivered by the CEO before taking further questions. In the speech, he recognized the important role of governments and said he supports federal privacy legislation. He also said that he leads the “company without political bias”. Many who post political content may privately rebuff these comments as Google is known to censor, demonetize, and remove videos; the most high profile case was Alex Jones, when his account was shut down altogether.
Pertaining to his comments about the absence of political bias, Pichai said:
“We work hard to ensure the integrity of our products, and we’ve put a number of checks and balances in place to ensure they continue to live up to our standards. I lead this company without political bias and work to ensure that our products continue to operate that way. To do otherwise would go against our core principles and our business interests. We are a company that provides platforms for diverse perspectives and opinions – and we have no shortage of them among our own employees.”
With regards to privacy legislation, his speech says:
“Protecting the privacy and security of our users has long been an essential part of our mission."
"We recognize the important role of governments, including this Committee, in setting rules for the development and use of technology. To that end, we support federal privacy legislation and proposed a legislative framework for privacy earlier this year.”
The hearing, which will take place later today, will be focusing on transparency and accountability with the committee examining Google’s data collection, use of the data, and its filtering practices. There was no mention of Google pulling out of its contract with the U.S. Department of Defense, nor its plan to enter the Chinese search market but they could come up during the session.
Sundar Pichai’s speech is online now ready for anyone to read. Among all the corporate speak, there are a few interesting details about Pichai’s own history and the fact that his family’s first television in India only had one channel but that he was “thrilled” nonetheless. He also talks about the benefits his family got after they got their first telephone.