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McCarthy: 'Self-Policed' Nature of Google to Be Probed at CEO Hearing

In this May 8, 2018, photo, Google CEO Sundar Pichai speaks at the Google I/O conference in Mountain View, Calif. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) said the Google CEO’s Tuesday testimony on Capitol Hill could inform what kind of regulatory action GOPs might pursue against the search engine.

Sundar Pichai had been scheduled to appear before the House Judiciary Committee last week, but that was bumped to this week because of President George H.W. Bush’s death.

“Two-thirds of every adult American gets their news from the Internet. But there’s no other company that has a greater control over the Internet on searches than Google,” McCarthy told Fox News this morning. “And Google has not been coming to any of our hearings, whereas Twitter, Facebook, and others — 90 percent of all Internet searches goes through Google.”

McCarthy noted that he “gave Google credit in 2010 when they pulled out of China, what China was asking them to do in their searches.”

“But now there’s talk of them coming back, this Dragonfly. But then Google pulled out of working with the armed forces of America because they disagreed with the A.I. platform, which our armed services want,” he said, stressing the China relationship will be among the questions asked Tuesday.

“I give Sundar credit. Their CEO came in to see me after I put out a tweet. He promised he would come to a hearing…. But these are questions that have to be answered. Then — that’s about China, but what about the privacy of Americans? How long do they keep those searches that are supposed to be private that you go through? How do you get the — what is it that you doing with the data that you’re finding? Because they know almost everything about us.”

McCarthy said the “self-policed” nature of Google will be probed in terms of bias on the platform.

“I know it’s an algorithm. But a human writes this algorithm. If you go into Google and you search something, they give you the four queries before you go through,” he said. “If you put something negative there, you will pick on that. It’s 95 percent of people drop off by the time they go to the second page of Google, where your search comes up. And when they put up news, they’re beginning to put up opinions that are news. That’s not news.”

Asked if legislative moves for greater regulation would follow, McCarthy replied that “this is why we’re having the hearings.”

“What do we need to protect? What do we need to stop the bias?” he asked. “What do we need for competition?”