Google CEO Sundar Pichai plans to meet privately with top Republican lawmakers on Friday to discuss a variety of topics, including the company’s alleged political bias in search results.
House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R., Calif.), who is organizing Friday’s meeting, told the Wall Street Journal that Pichai has “kindly” agreed to address Republican congress members’ questions on Friday.
“Google has a lot of questions to answer about reports of bias in its search results, violations of user privacy, anticompetitive behavior and business dealings with repressive regimes like China,” McCarthy told the Journal, which reported the meeting Monday.
Friday’s private meeting, and a public hearing later this year before the House Judiciary Committee, comes amid growing bipartisan concern of large tech companies’ size and influence. Google is among a handful of tech companies that has drawn flak for the perception it reflects a liberal bias.
“I look forward to meeting with Members on both sides of the aisle, answering a wide range of questions, and explaining our approach,” Pichai said in a statement confirming a meeting had been scheduled. “These meetings will continue Google’s long history of engaging with Congress, including testifying seven times to Congress this year.”
The meeting will occur a little more than a week after a report in the Journal said Google employees discussed changes to the company’s web search functions to counter the Trump administration’s controversial travel ban that went into effect last year.
“Recent news stories reference an internal email to suggest that we would compromise the integrity of our search results for a political end,” Pichai reportedly wrote in a memo to employees on Friday. “This is absolutely false.”
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SOURCE: Cnet, Steven Musil