The US House of Representatives asked Google CEO questions about the new search engine for China, data privacy and the company’s political neutrality
Google CEO Sundar Pachai testified before the US House of Representatives’ Judiciary Committee.
Much attention was paid to the project of developing a new search engine adapted for China, which was revealed in August.
Google search engine has been blocked in China since 2010, so the company decided to develop a new service that would comply with the Chinese law. As an argument in favor of the project, Google states that it is concerned with Chinese users having limited access to information. Although the company’s new service will be a compromise solution, it will be able to help ordinary users. However, a more plausible rationale behind it is that Google just wants to return to the Chinese market totaling several billions of potential users.
The new project triggered protests by human rights organizations and some Google employees, who believe that the adapted search engine version will be used for user tracking and censorship.
Pichai stated that Google did not have any specific plans to launch a search product in China right now. Still Pichai did not filly deny that such censored service could potentially be created.
The company’s CEO explained that the project was Google’s internal development at the moment and that the company’s specialists were evaluating what such search engine could look like.
Pichai also promised that if the Company ever decided to launch such a product, it would be fully transparent about it and, in particular, consult policy makers.
In response to the questions about Google’s political neutrality, Pichai said that he personally and the entire company operated without political bias. All company services provide equal opportunities to people whatever their viewpoints may be.
As for questions relating to user privacy and data collection, Google CEO assured that users have full control over privacy settings. According to him, the company can collect user data solely to improve its own services.