Economy

Google CEO grilled over 'getting out Latino vote'

Google CEO grilled over 'getting out Latino vote'”

Rep. David Cicilline, D-R.I., told Pichai that the Dragonfly plan seemed to be "completely inconsistent" with Google's recently launched artificial intelligence principles, which state that the company will not "design or deploy" technologies whose goal "contravenes widely accepted principles of worldwide law and human rights".

The hearing began with an opening statement from Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., who said launching a censored search engine in China would "strengthen China's system of surveillance and repression".

"If you want positive search results, do positive things", he said.

Louie Gohmert, a Texas Republican, argued that Google was "surrounded by liberality" and did not recognize its own bias.

"I know Google's attitude - "The algorithm made us do it" - but I don't know that I buy that". The issue of political bias has been tackled by many other Representatives who took turns questioning the 46-year-old in five-minute windows they were allowed.

Politicians have already demanded to know why Google seems willing to censor search results at the behest of Chinese Community Party but has pulled back from two contracts with the USA military. Pichai did not directly answer, stating, "We would look at what the conditions are to operate ..."

The US Federal Trade Commission opened a similar investigation into Google's business practices in 2011. Some seemed unaware that a person's IP address could also reveal his or her location or that a phone without service likely could not transmit data.

"I'm not asking you that question", the Republican lawmaker said. "I think Google obviously does!"

Lofgren responded to Pichai's explanation with this: "So it's not some little man sitting behind the curtain figuring out what we're going to show the user, it's basically a compilation of what users are generating and trying to sort through that information".

Poe also said that the U.S.is "playing second fiddle" to Europe, which earlier this year implemented the General Data Protection Regulation that gives users more power and transparency over what data they share. Bob Goodlatte, the committee's chairman, adding that users often consent to the terms of service without knowing what's in it. Looming over the tech industry is the possibility of government regulation meant to protect people's data and a deeper look into whether very big companies like Google, Amazon and Facebook need to be broken up. "Most Americans have no idea the sheer volume of detailed information that is collected".

Digital rights defenders, meanwhile, are concerned about the company's plans to launch a censored search engine in China, warning that it "is likely to set a bad precedent for human rights and press freedoms worldwide".

During a separate exchange, Rep. Keith Rothfus, R-Pa., probed Pichai further on China.

US Rep. David Cicilline, a Democrat from Rhode Island, told Pichai he meant to work with the FTC to draw up a regulatory framework to prevent Google from throttling its rivals through its search engine, which handles two out of every three queries in the U.S.



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