Google’s Sundar Pichai was grilled on privacy, data collection, and China during congressional hearing

It was Sundar Pichai’s turn in the congressional hot seat.

Google’s CEO testified before the House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday for 3.5 hours while lawmakers grilled him on a wide range of issues, including potential political bias on the company’s platforms, its plans for a censored search app in China and its privacy practices.

This is the first time Pichai has appeared before Congress since Google declined to send him or Alphabet CEO Larry Page to a hearing on foreign election meddling earlier this year. That slight sparked anger among senators who portrayed Google as trying to skirt scrutiny.

Tuesday’s hearing culminated a tough year for big tech companies, as lawmakers and the public have become increasingly skeptical about Silicon Valley’s effects on democracy, misinformation and privacy. Despite some occasionally intense questioning, the soft-spoken Pichai remained cool and confident overall throughout the proceedings as he either defended Google or expertly dodged giving specific answers.

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