Google’s Chief Executive Officer Sundar Pichai on Tuesday denied allegations that his company had political bias. Pichai was testifying before a House Judiciary Committee Hearing on “Transparency & Accountability: Examining Google and its Data Collection, Use, and Filtering Practices”, PTI reported.
Pichai told the committee that Google was careful to avoid political bias in its search engine and other products, according to The Washington Post. “To do otherwise would go against our core principles and our business interests,” said Pichai while testifying for the first time before Congress. “Our algorithms have no notion of political sentiment.”
“We are a company that provides platforms for diverse perspectives and opinions – and there is no shortage of them among our own employees,” he said, denying allegations that Google Search favours liberal content.
Pichai was also questioned about Google’s plans to launch a censored version of its services in China which were first reported by news website The Intercept quoting a whistleblower. The project named Dragonfly would allegedly block website and search terms about human rights, democracy and religion.
Pichai, however, said Google had no plans to launch the search engine in China “right now”. He said that access to information is “an important human right”, reported CNBC.
When asked to commit not to launch “a tool for surveillance and censorship in China”, Pichai said it was the company’s “duty to explore possibilities to give users access to information”.
Pichai’s hearing before the House Judiciary Committee ended a year-long inquiry by the panel into allegations that Google and other tech peers stifle conservatives online, according to The Washington Post. Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg and Twitter’s Jack Dorsey also testified about the protection of user data and alleged foreign interference through social media.