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tv   Google CEO Testifies on Data Collection  CSPAN  December 17, 2018 4:24pm-8:02pm EST

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begins ate 8:00 p.m. eastern. this week on american history tv primetime, tuesday we will look at the united states immigration commission. formed in 1907, at a time when an influx of immigrants was seen by many as a national crisis. wednesday, political history with a discussion on populism and its role in the history of american politics. on thursday, coauthors bob drurry and tom clachb talk about their book "valley forge" describing how the defeated continental army lasted flew the harsh winter of 1776 and '78. and friday night our american artifacts series, which takes viewers to museums and historic sights around the country. we tour the american exhibits at the national museum of the
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american indian in washington, d.c. to capitol hill now, where google ceo sundar pichai testified on tuesday about his company's use of consumer data. he answereds lawmakers' questions for more than three hours on the company's privacy policies, search results, algorithms, terms of service agreements, and security measures.
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good morning. the judiciary committee will come to order. without objection the chair is authorized to declare recesses of the committee at any time. with welcome everyone to their morning's hearing on transparency and accountability. examining google and its data collection use and filtering practices. before i recognize myself and the ranking member for opening statements, i would like to recognize our first witness, the majority leader, kevin mccarthy, of california, for his statement. welcome. >> well, thank you mr. goodlatte, chairman, for working with me to organize this hearing. i want to thank sundar patch eye for testifying on capitol hill.
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we appreciate and note your willingness to travel here and answer our questions. first, in a private setting in september. and now in a public setting. google is one of the most valuable companies in america. because of what it does. google's search engine organizes the entire internet and by extension, almost all the information in the world. this is hardly an exaggeration. here's a statistic you will hear a lot today, but it bears repeating. according to the "wall street journal," 90% of all internet searches go through google. that is power. and it comes with responsibility. mr. patichai it was necessary t have this meeting because of the
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gap in the trust of the people. we can alleviate concerns with transparency and candor. we need answers. we need to know first that google is committed to the free market ideals of competition and entrepreneurship that launched its revolutionary products to begin with. second we need to be sure that any political bias within dealing's work fosse does not creep into its search products. third we need to know that google is living up to the america's belief in free expression and human rights when it deals with foreign governments a. word on the last subject. right now google is reportedly developing a sense soared search engine with the chinese communist party. it is also developing next generation technology on chinese soil. technology that the administration considers a national priority. now this news raises a troubling
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responsibility. that google is being used to strengthen china's system of surveillance, repression, and control. right this very second, china's authoritarian system detains more than a million religious minorities in reeducation camps. mr. pichai, i urge you to reflect on that fact and on the promise your company made when it pulled out of the china market in 2010. and i applauded you for that move in 2010. back then, google promised it would not censor its search results in china or compromise its commitment to a free and open internet. now, in light of these recent events, i think the american people deserve to know, has something changed? if so, what? all of these topics, competition, sensorin shhh, bias, and others point to one
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fundamental question that demands the nation's attention. are america's technology companies serving as instruments of freedom or instruments of control? are they fulfilling the promise of the digital age? are they advancing the cause of self government? are they serving of instruments of manipulation used by powerful interests and foreign governments to rob the people of their power, agency, and dignity? i believe we need to grapple with these questions together as a nation. because the free world depends on a free internet. we need to know that google is on the side of the free world. and that it will provide its service free of anti-competitive behavior, political bias, and sense censorship. i wasn't to thank you again for being here and answering these questions. i look forward to listening to the answers with a very open mind. and i yield back.
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>> i would now like to invite mr. pichai to take his seat at the witness table. without objection, the chair now recognizes the ranking member, mr. nadler, for a point of personal privilege, to recognize a member of his staff, a very distinguished member of his staff. >> thank you mr. chairman. mr. chairman, i want to take a moment to recognize danielle brown, whose last working day for the committee is tomorrow. danielle has served on the judiciary committee democratic staff for more than a decade in a variety of roles beginning as staff assistant, then going to counsel parliament aryan, chief lejs counsel, and most recently,
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deputy chief counsel. she has been tension to the operations of this committee and has been involved in almost every most important piece of business over the last decade ranging from protecting immigrants to ensuring environmental freedom and she is leaving us now to become general counsel and parliament aryan the ways and means committee. our loss is surely their gain. i wish you well. i appreciate her wise counsel. i thank you for all your years of service to this committee. i hope the committee will join me in thanking her for her services to this committee. [ applause ] >> will the gentleman yield? >> i will yield to the chairman. >> i. >> that the gentleman for yielding. i would like to join him in thanking danielle for her service to this committee. she has worked with members on both sides of the aisle. she has worked with the majority
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staff. very productively, coco operatively on a great many issues that have made this committee not only more productive, but also operating in a fashion that has resulted in a number of bills getting from this committee all the way to the president's desk, whether that president be barack obama or donald trump. that's an accomplishment that this entire committee should be proud of and danielle should be proud that she has played an important part in doing that. i thank you. [ applause ] i now recognize myself for an opening statement. in the united states, google operates the preeminent internet search engine, the leading e-mail service provider, and the android operating system, which runs most of the smart phones in the united states. when a consumer performs an internet search, sends an e-mail, or uses his or her smart
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phone, google collects information on that person. in fact, almost every minute of every day the android operating system sends information about the exact location, temperature, barometric pressure and speed of movement of every phone that runs on the android operating system. with americans carrying their smart phones all day every day, google is able to collect an amount of information about its users that would even make the nsa blurb. of course when users click through the terms of service for these services, they do consent to such collection. i think it is fair to say that most americans have no idea the sheer volume of detailed information that is collected. today i hope to get answers on the extent of data collection and use by google. in addition, decades ago, congress passed the communications decency act, including section 230 of that
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act which allows service providers to remove lewd lascivious, excessive levi end will or objectionable content from their platforms. it allows service provides to remove illegal materials including child pornography and content that is illegal under our selectual property laws. there is some discretion that service providers by necessity must use to make decisions about what consent is harmful or objectionable. given google's you big with it this the search market google is often consumers first and last stop when searching for information on the internet. as such, this committee is very interested in how google makes decisions about what constitutes objectionable content that justifies filtering and who at google makes she is decisions. given the revelation that top executives at google have discussed how the results of the
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2016 elections do comply with gallon's values, these questions have become all the more important. while it is true that google is not a government entity, and so it does not have to comply with the first amendment, the american people deserve to know what types of information they are not getting when they perform searches on the internet. the market works best when information about products and services is readily available. and so today on behalf of this committee and the american consumer, i hope to get answers from mr. pichai regarding who at google makes the judgment calls on whether to filter or block objectionable content. and what metrics google uses to make those decisions. i want to thank you google's ceo for his willingness to testify today and to answer these and other questions. with respect to reference results, algity are mick screening is the primary means through which google sorts data and information.
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going's search algorithm for example, calculates what is presented to a user based on the variable s the user inputs into the search bar. at its best google's algorithm reaches the best answer in the least am of time while providing choices to the user by ranking pages most relevant to the search inquirinquiry. by ranking, google's search always favors one page over another. this kind of bias appears harmless. after all, the point of a search is to discriminate among multiple approximately sources. this becomes sinister with allegations that it ranks according to political parties it likes. there are reports that google employees thought about doing this, talked about doing it and have done it. the dangerous implications to a
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fair democratic process cannot be understated. one study performed by psychologist robert epstein revealed that internet search rankings have a significant impact on consumer choices mainly because users trust and choose higher ranked results more than lower ranked results. after performing five relevant double blind randomized controlled experiments using a total of 4556 undecided voters representing diverse demographic characteristics of the voting populations of the united states and india, the study revealed that biased search rankings can shift the voting preferences of undecided voters by 20% or more. the shift can be much higher in some demographic groups. and search ranking bias can be masked so that people show no awareness of the manipulation. the potential for this kind of bias is clearly problematic and is further compounded by the
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fact that google every day collects mountains of information about its users while they are actively engaged with a google product, or even when they are not. according to a study conducted by vanderbilt university a door nant stationery android phone with chrome active in the background communicated location information to google 340 times during a 24-hour period or at an average of 14 data communications per hour. the collection of location data may be obvious to most users. but they are often unaware of the many sensors that the android platform supports, including an accelerometer, a barometer and a photo meter. these senders in addition to the cameras and a micro phone on a mobile device can collate into an accurate picture of where the user is, what they are doing, and who else is there. the, showing amount of
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information that google collects via its phones was recently featured on good morning america in custom a reporter using an an droid phone with no sim card that wasn't connected to the internet discovered that the phone collected the device's movement, even identifying the mode of transportation, such as the subway, or even a bicycle. and at times taking send sensor reading per minute. moreover, google's practice of reinforcing its dominance creates little choice for consumers across the spectrum of internet-based products or services. given that google's ads show up on non-google website, and google's search engine is being used as the default search tool on other products such as the.ael phone, it is almost impossible to avoid google all together. google in many things -- google is many things. it is one of the largest data collectors ever seen in human
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history. it is an advertiser that can get the right product to the right customer at precisely the right time. google is also an internet giant directing over 3.5 billion searches per day. with this massive authority, however, comes the potential for far-reaching abuse. the mere suspicion that google minute lates its products and features for self serving or even political purposes raises serious concerns about its business practices, its impact on free speech, and our democratic process, and americans' trust that the information gathered about them in their day to day live is done with their knowledge and is not being used against them. my hope-- through our inquiries today we will gain more transparentsy and trust going forward.
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google started in a garage and grew to be one of the most successful companies in the world. two decades ago we could not fathom act is he is to more information than what is contain in all the encyclopedias in the recalled would. now we take that for granted thanks to the service that google provides. with that. thank you to our witness for being here today. i look forward to your testimony. i would like to recognize mr. nadler for his opening statement. >> our society is becoming increasingly reliant on social media and other online platforms to obtain, create, share and sort information. this information helps us make decisions ranging in importance from where to make dinner reservations to which candidate to vote for in a presidential election. the public's increasing use of these platforms generated positive benefits for society and has also given rise to
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troubling trends. given the public's widespread use on its products and services there are questions regarding the company's policies and practices including with respect to content moderation and the protection of user privacy. about of we delve into these questions i must first dispense about the i will legitimate issue which is the fantasy that google and other platforms have an answer conservative bias. no credible evidence supports this right wing conspiracy theory. i have little doubt that my republican colleagues will spend much of their timent presenting a laundry list of an deck doets and out of context statements made by google employees that suppose a bias. none of that will actually make it true. but this factory propaganda does help generate the mistrust that the majority leader referred to a few moments ago. each if google were deliberately discriminating against
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conservative viewpoints, just as fox news and sinclair broadcasting and conservative talk radiohosts discriminate against liberal points of view that would be its right as a private company to do so, not to be questioned by government. during the reagan administration, 35 years ago the federal communications commission as appointed by ronald reagan abolished what we used to have called the fairness doctrine which -- this question might be relevant if republicans wanted to bring back the doctrine and expand its scope to social media companies. i doubt we will see any interest in doing so. but we should not let the delusions of the far right distract us from the real issues that should be the focus of today's hearing.
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we should examine what google is doing to stop hostile powers to spread information to harm our political discourse. it has been two years since the presidential election yet this committee hasn't held a single hearing to discuss about russia engaging in a massive diss information campaign to influence the 2016 election. i hope mr. pichai can held us what actions google has taken to counter-this unprecedented attack without being so specific as to give a guidance to foreign powers. this may help congress determine what more can be done to further insulate our democratic processes from foreign interference. we should also explore how google prevents racist and bigoted threats.
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while platforms provide societal benefits, they also provide a tool to promote hatred. it has been made alarming by . compared to 2016. the horrible massacre at the tree of life synagogue in pittsburgh, the recent murder of the italian grocery store. the killing of an indian engineer are sadly not outbursts of violence, but the most salient examples of a trend. we should consider to what extent google and other online platforms may have been used to foe meant and disseminate such hatred. and how these platforms can play a combative role in its spread.
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it's useful to examine its policies and practices to make sure other companies are able to compete in an open and fair marketplace. there are concerns about the prevalence of pirated material available at the expense of legitimate content. finally it is important to know what google is doing to protect its users data privacy and data security. the wall street journal reported that google discovered last martha a bug had exposed the private profile date if a of up to 500,000 users to third party developers. it opted not to disclose the issue publicly, not even to those who may have been affected at the time, just yesterday, the company announced it discovered another google plus bug that may have exposed the private data of millions of users. >> google has so far found no evidence that abusers abused these bugs or that any data has been misused in anyway.
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incidents like this raise legitimate questions about what the company is obligated to disclose publicly. and how such controls should be regulated. i am also disturbed by recent reports that google is developing a search everythingen for the chinese mainland market. the search engine would not only accommodate chinese sensors it would allow the chinese to track individuals by their mobil phone number. in this our fourth hearing devoted to anti-conservative bias by internet companies, we will waste more time and taxpayer money on right wing conspiracy theorys, instead of concentrating the substantive questions and issues that should be the focus of our hearings. our committee can, must and will do better. i yield back the balance of my
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time. >> thank you, mr. nadler. in you would please rise, i'll begin by swearing you in. >> do you swear the testimony you are about to give shall be the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth so help you god? >> let the record show that the witness answered in the affirmative. our only witness today is mr. pichai, the chief executive officer of google. we ask that you summarize your testimony within five minutes. to help you, there is a timing light on your table, when the light switches from green to yellow you have one minute remaining. you are very welcome, and you may begin. >> chairman goodlatte, ranking members of the committee. thank you for the opportunity to be here today.
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i joined google 15 years ago, and have been privileged to serve as ceo for the last three years, my love for information and technology began long before that. it's been 25 years since i made the u.s. my home. growing up in india i have distinct memories of when my family got its first phone and first television. each new technology made a profound difference in our lives. getting the phone meant i could call ahead to the hospital to check that the blood results were in, instead of steaki itako hour trip there. the television only had one channel but i couldn't have been more thrilled by its arrival. not only do i believe in technology, i believe in people and their ability to use technology to improve their lives. i'm incredibly proud of what google does to help people
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around the world especially here in the u.s. i'd like to take a moment to share a bit of background on that. 20 years ago, two students, one from michigan and one from maryland came together at stanford with a big idea, to provide users with access to the world's information. that mission still drives everything we do. whether that's saving a few minutes on your morning commute or helping doctors predict disease and save lives. today google is more fan a search engine, we're a global committee committed to building products for everyone. that means working with many industries from education and health care, to manufacturing and entertainment. even as we expand into new markets, we never forget our american roots. it's no coincidence that a company dedicated to free flow of information was founded right here in the u.s. as an american company, we cherish the values and freedoms that have allowed us to grow and serve so many users.
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and i'm proud to say, we do and we will continue to work with the government to keep our country safe and secure. over the years our footprint has expanded far beyond california to states such as texas, virginia, oklahoma and alabama. today in the u.s., we are growing faster outside of the bay area than within it. i've had that great opportunity to travel across the country, and see all the places that are powering our digital economy from clarksville to pittsburgh, to san diego where we recently launched a partnership with the uso to help veterans and families. many who depend on google to find new skills. we have supported more than 1.5 million american businesses. and over the past three years, we have made contributions of $150 billion to the u.s. economy. added more than 24,000 employees, and paid over $43
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billion to our u.s. partners across if the platforms. they also provide great services to our users to help them throughout the day. it's an honor we know comes with great responsibility. protecting the privacy and security of our users has long been an essential part of our mission. we've invested an enormous amount of hours into the development and use of technology. to that end we support federal privacy legislation and propose legislative framework for privacy earlier this year. users look to us to provide accurate information. and we work hard to ensure
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integrated products. we have put a number of checks and balances in place to ensure they contribute to our standards. i leave this company to ensure that the products continue to operate that way. >> to do otherwise would be against our core principles and our business interests. we are a company that provides platforms for diverse prospectives and opinions, and there is no shortage amongst our employees. some googlers are former servicemen and women who have risked much in defense of their country. some are parents who worry about the role technology plays in our households. some like me are immigrants who are profoundly grateful to the freedoms and opportunities it offers. and some of us are many of these things. let me close by saying that leading google has been the greatest professional honor of my life. it's a challenging moment for
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our industry but i'm privileged to be here. i greatly appreciate you letting me share the story of google and our work to build products, worthy of the trust users place in us. thank you for the opportunity and i look forward to answering your questions. >> thank you, we'll now proceed under the five minute rule with questions and i'll begin by recognizing myself. is it true that the android operating system sends google information every few minutes, detailing the exact location of a smart phone within a few feet, the speed of movement of the phone, the altitude of the phone, sufficient to determine what floor of the building a phone is on, the temperature surrounding the phone and other readings, and if so, with americans carrying their phones with them at all times, doesn't the collection of this volume of detailed information really mean that google is compiling information about virtually every moment an individual with a smart phone is making every hour of every day? >> mr. chairman, thank you for
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the question. today, for any service we provide our users, we go to great lengths to protect their privacy, and we give them transparency, choice and control. android is a powerful platform and provides smart phones for over 2 billion people. it depends on the applications users choose to use. if you're using a fitness application, which is predicting the number of steps you walk, you expect it to send that information. but it's a choice users make, we make it clear. and it depends on the use cases. >> the answer to my question is yes. is that correct that the information i cited is gathered by google? >> if the -- for google services, have you a choice of what information is collected and we make it transparent. >> there are uses that consumers make use of, i use it to keep
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track of the number of steps i walk, i understand that service that one of your competitors provides. i understand the purpose. do you think the average consumer understands that google will collect this volume of detailed information when they click through the terms of service agreements in order to use the android operating system? >> it's really important for us that average users are able to understand it, this is why we do something called privacy checkup? >> you think average users read the terms of service and the updates that are sent to us? >> beyond the terms of service, we actually offer, we remind users to do a privacy checkup, and we make it obvious. every month, in fact in in the last 28 days, 160 million usiers have been where they can clearly see what information we have, we show it back to them.
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and we give clearing to els by category, where they can decide whether that information is collected, stored or more importantly, if they decide to stop using it, we work hard to make it possible for users to take their data with them. they choose to use another service. >> let me switch to the issue of section 230 of the communications decency act. you heard me say this provides restrictions. when google thinks something is obscene, lewd, lascivious or objectionable about on the other hand, objectionable material applied likely elicits the most engagement from users on your site. for google, increased engagement potentially means increased revenue. it's important for google to make clear where it draws the line, and i don't believe google has done its best to make that clear.
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>> would google or youtube be willing to make changes if doing so meant a drop in user engagement metrics? >> absolutely. we have a long track record. we've always focused on long term goals. we focus on their knowledge, happine happiness, success and that's where they work hard to create. it's a natural incentive to do so. youtube is a place where it uses, advertises and content creators use the platform, we want to make this work in a sustainable way. >> when it comes to political advertising, as you know, some of your competitors in other advertising media, are required by law to offer the same rate, the lowest rate as a matter of
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fact to all political candidates, for example, that's true in television and radio. would google -- should prospective companies be charged the same for ads. >> the rates are set by a live auctioning process. the prices are automatically calculated. the system decides that based on. >> could two competing political candidates targeting the same audience see different ad rates, could that disparity be substantial? >> there won't be a difference based on any political reasons, unless there are key words which are of political interest.
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it's a supply and demand equilibrium. it will vary from time to time. >> can the rates be substantial in difference? >> there could be occasions where, yes, there could be a difference in rates. i haven't looked at the specifics of it, yeah. >> the result is different than in other markets like television or radio, where every candidate is entitled to the lowest rate that that television station or radio station offers to any political candidate in office? >> there could be variations based on the time of the day. the key words are choosing to go for the geographies. it's a process we've done for 20 years. anything to do with our civic process. it's really important for us. >> thank you. the chair recognizes the
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gentleman from new york for five minutes. >> according to media reports google found evidence that -- well -- let me go through the other one first. google found a bug in its platform that could have exposed the private data of half a million users without the consent of third party developers. yesterday as i mentioned before, they found -- you announced another bug. what legal obligations is the company under to disclose that that do not involve financial sensitive information like users name, age, e-mail address and phone number. >> the bugs you mentioned are bugs we found them by either doing an audit or using our automated testing systems.
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whenever we find any bugs, it gets escalate d and we comply with many. >> what legal obligation is the company under to disclose such data that don't involve financial information, but still involve other personal information. >> in that case, in the first case. typically we look at our legal requirements, and go above and beyond to make sure we do the right thing for our users. we -- >> what legal obligations are there? >> today right now, if you found a bug, you know, and once you've done the investigation, and you assert the users who are eligible for notification, we
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notify users. >> according to media reports, google found evidence that russian agents spent thousands of dollars to place ads on their platform platforms. addition ali, juniper downs, youtube had shut down multiple channels associated with the russian misinformation campaign. >> does google now know the extent to which the platforms were exploited by actors years ago. >> we took a thorough investigation. and in 2016, we now know that there were two main ads linked to russia which were $4700 in
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total advertising. >> no amount is okay here. and we found limited activity. we learned a lot from that. and we've dramatically increased protections we have. we again found limited activity both from the research agency in russia as well as accounts linked to iran. >> what specific steps have you taken in the 2018 elections. >> we've undertaken significant review of how ads are bought. we look for the origin of these accounts, we share share and collaborate with law enforcement, other technology companies. and we are investing a lot of effort and oversight in this
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area. >> looking ahead to the next congress. i assume we can have your assurances that google will work with this committee as we examine the issue of how to better secure -- >> predicting our elections is foundational to our democracy. you have our full commitment we will do that. >> what are you doing, what is doing to combat the spread of white supremacy and right wing extremism across youtube? >> congressman, youtube is an important platform, we want to allow for diverse prospectives and opinions. we have rules of the road, and we have policies against many categories, and we are transparent about these policies. when we find violations on our policies we remove content. >> you what, i'm sorry?
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>> we have policies against hate speech, if we find violations, we do take down the content. >> do you note who put it up so you can flag future content from the same sources? >>. >> we look at it on a video by video basis, to the extent that our repeat offenses from our same account, we do take into account and we notified the content creator and follow-up accordingly. >> thank you very much, i yield back. >> the chair recognizes congressman -- >> americans deserve the facts objectively reported the muting of conservative voices has intensified especially during the presidency of donald trump. more than 90% of all internet searches take place on google or youtube. they are cure rating what we
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see. . google has long faced criticism to conservatives. they've had their protrump content tagged as hate speech or had their content reduced in search results. an enforcement of immigration laws has been tagged as hate speech as well. such actions pose a grave threat to our democratic form of government. >> pj media found that 96% of search results from trump were from liberal media outlets. not a single right leaning sight appeared on the first page of search results. this doesn't happen by accident but is baked into the algorithms. those who write the algorithms get the results they must want. dr. robert epstein authored a study recently that showed
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google's bias swung 2.6 million votes to hillary clinton in the 2016 election. google could well elect the next president with dire implications for our democracy. >> this should be a real concern to all but the most politically partisan. those at the top set the tone. it will require a herculean effort by the chief executive and senior management, to change the political bias now programmed into the company's culture. let me ask my first question about those examples of political bias that i just mentioned and you're going to hear others too. in your opening statement, you nengsed your desire to provide information that was without political bias. clearly that's not working. what are you going to do to improve that situation? >> thank you for the question. if i may. some of the studies you mentioned, we have investigated
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those that have looked at -- found issues with the methodology and so on. providing users with information is sacrosanct to us. we need to earn users trust. >> what actions are you going to take to try to counter the political bias in those examples i just gave. you have to take some responsibility for that bias. what do you intend to do about it? >> with respect, we don't agree with the methodology. happy to follow up with your office. when we look at it, we evaluate our search results, today we use a robust methodology, we've been doing this for 20 years, making
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sure it's what we need to do while we work hard to do that. >> what does method olgs have to do with the fact that 96% of the references to trump are from the liberal 3450ed ya. >> all these studies can show one set of data and conclusions, we have looked at results on our top news category. we find that we have a wide variety of sources, including sources from the left and right. we are committed to making sure there are diverse perspectives. >> the study i referred to was done by a democrat who voted for hillary clinton and said he regretted to find what he found. he found it irrefutable and no one has been able to refute him. would you agree to allow an independentity to study your search results for political
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bias? i know you have individuals studying that now, but you appointed them. would you allow third party independent outside organization to study your search results and cooperate with them, to determine the degree if any of political bias? >> if i may make two points, today, there have been independent third party sties looking at search results. >> you're talking about third parties, i'm talking about someone truly independent. >> we had transparent as to how we evaluate search. we public our guidelines externally. that's how we -- we are trying hard to understand what users want this is something important to us to get right. i'm happy to follow up and explain the methodology, and explain the studies done by independent third parties. >> to my knowledge, again, you have picked those third parties, i would like to have someone
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truly independent study those results. to my knowledge, you've never sanctioned any employee for any type of -- manipulating the search results whatsoever, is that the cases? >> the time of the gentleman has expired. but you will be allowed to answer the question. >> it's not possible for a group of employees to manipulate our search results, we have a robust framework including many steps in the process. >> i think humans can manipulate the process, it's a human process at its base, thank you, mr. chairman, yield back. >> the chair recognizes the gentle woman from california. >> thank you mr. chairman. google is located in santa clara county, my home, i have to say that in contrast to the recent amazon effort for a headquarters, they are
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proposing -- google is proposing to establish a facility in downtown san jose, and they didn't ask for any tax subsi subsidies, they're purchasing the land and paying the city gobs of money. i'm going to ask a question, i think most people in san jose are excited by the proposal but there's anxiety about the impact on housing, and whether google intends to be a partner with the city of san jose, to make sure we accommodate the housing that will be necessary for the 20,000 additional employees that are proposed in san jose. >> i missed the last part of your question. >> whether you would be a partner with the city to accommodate these employees? >> congresswoman, it's an important question. we deeply care about the community as part of this effort. we have done wide outreach, we
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have committed to making sure there is affordable housing as part of the plan. >> there's so many questions, and we're not going to be able to deal with them all today, i'm hoping in the next congress, we will be able to visit with you and other tech companies to go through issues of privacy. in its relationship to human rights, competition policies, the issue of takedown requests by authoritarian regimes encryption policy and what's going on in australia. filtering and confirmation by us in its impact on society generally, both culturally and politically. we can't do that in the five minutes we have here today. i would like to revisit some of the questions that have already been asked. the chairman asked about location policies in your android system, and you pointed to the various apps that might
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provide information. let's say i got an android phone, unlike most people, i don't have a single app on that phone. what information would be collected. >> congresswoman, there is a device specific location setting, which you can turn on or off. >> let's say i turn it off. >> there's no location information sent from that device. >> okay. >> but this is a complex area, there are times your ip address may include some location information. it's an area committed to making easier. >> manipulation of search results, i think it's important to talk about how search works. right now, if you google the word idiot under images, a picture of donald trump comes up.
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i just did that. how would that happen? how does search work so that would occur. >> we provide search for any time you type in a key word? we as google, we have crawled, we have gone out and stored copies of billions of pages in our index, and we take the key word. and match it against the pages and look at them based on 200 signals, relevance, popularity, how other people are using it, and based on that, at any given time we try to rank and find the best results for that query. and then we evaluate them with external raiders to make sure they -- that's how we make sure -- >> it's not some little man sitting behind the curtain figuring out what we're going to
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show the user it's basically a compilation of what users are generating and trying to sort through that information? >> just as a fact, every single day, 15% of the searches google sees. we have never seen them before, this is working at scale. we don't manually intervene -- >> i would like to note my colleague colleagues claim they hear an engineer that claims to be a democrat. in santa clara county, donald trump in the 2016 election got 20% of the vote. that's how much of the vote he got. it's a not a surprise that the engineers would reflect that general political outcome.
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the automated process that is the search engine that serves us if we didn't have google, we wouldn't be able to find any information in the efficient way that we do. i look forward next year to looking forward with you on some of the serious questions we face. it's pretty obvious that bias against conservative voices is not one of them. thank you very much. my time has expired. >> the chair recognizes the gentleman from ohio. >> let me start out with something real quickly. 90% of the time, when someone does a google search, it's through google. >> more than ever, users access information, if you're trying to
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shop, trying to buy something. more than 50% of product searches originate with amazon in the u.s. today. if you're looking for information on news, can you get it from more sources than ever before. it's tough. there are external studies that have shown different numbers, including lower numbers than that. >> you've heard there's a bias in favor of liberal or progressive points of view, and against more conservative -- you heard that this morning, correct? >> let me tell you now about a firsthand experience that "have. >> i've been doing a weekly blog for the better part of nine years now. a while back, republicans in the house passed legislation, to repeal and replace obamacare. our bill was called the american
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health care act. when i was writing a blog about that. virtually every article was in the bill. article after article would result in the great care they were getting under obamacare. >> it wasn't until you got to the third or fourth page before you found anything remotely positive about the bill. article after article attacking the republican tax cut plan alleging the tax cuts only went to the rich, when in actuality, taxpayers got their taxes cut. including millions and millions of taxpayers, once again, to
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find any article that had anything remotely difficult to say. i know google is difficult, the algorithm made us do it. how do you explain this apparent bias on google's part against conservative points of view, against conservative policies. is it just the algorithm or is there more happening there? >> congressman, i understand the frustration seeing negative news. page after page there's negative news which we deflect. what is important here is we use the robust methodology to reflect what is being said about any given topic at any particular time. and we try to do it objectively using a set of rubrics. it is in our interest to make sure we deflect what's happening
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out there, in the best objective manner possible. i can come to you and assure you, we do it without regards to political ideology. our algorithms have no notion of political sentiment -- >> i'm going to run out of time here, i apologize for interrupting. i believe you believe what you're saying here. you have almost 90,000 employees, somebody out there is doing something that just isn't working if you're looking for unbiased results. i've seen this firsthand. time after time people would remember the obvious ones, yeah, i heard of those bills. if what i've described and some others, you're going to hear some examples, do you see how conservatives believe that your company is kind of putting their thumb on the scale so to speak, that you're in effect picking winners and losers, and
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political discourse out there in america today. therefore affecting elections, and -- do you see why conservatives would be concerned about this, and why we're asking these kinds of questions today? there's a lot of people that think what i'm saying here is happening, i think it's happening, so i've only got about 20 seconds to go. you can answer. >> it's important to me that i understand these concerns, this is why i've been trying to reach out and meet people. we're happy to look at independent studies, it's important to us to demonstrate that our products work without any bias, we build our products in a neutral way, i'm happy to follow up and look in order to. >> thank you, i appreciate your willingness to follow up. i know i'm already out of time.
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let me thank google for one thing. >> the chair recognizes the accide gentle woman from texas. >> good morning, it's a pleasure to have you here this morning. i'm going to try to offer to you questions initially that require just a yes or no answer if you would. does google choose conservative voices over -- >> we build in a neutral way. >> the answer is no? yes or no. >> no, congresswoman. >> if hate speech provokes violence, is that the definition beyond other aspects you consider that you would take it down. i know there are other aspects, particularly encouraging
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violence. does that get taken down. >> the primary purpose of inserting violence -- >> it would be taken down? >> yes, we would remove. >> i want to take note of the fact that we look forward to best practices when we start the 116th congress in terms of having more hearings. my view is that this committee has washed its hands clean of engaging in meaningful oversight, to sift through content being sowed by hostile foreign actors to heighten social division at the peril of democracy. i won't ask a question on that, but i will make mention of article 12, which says, no one should be subjected to arbitrary interference with privacy, and has been noted that google does engage in reviewing e-mails. would you commit to hearing article 12 relates to protecting the privacy of individual
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e-mails? >> waiting privacy is an important individual right, it's an important human right. we're committed to upholding that. >> we know that building the u.s. economy is important. >> i want to make sure whether or not you would be open to google involving the a.i. economy to social economic groups. data showsed impact of not having that access. would you be welcome or would you welcome invitations to those communities to do more than what has been done? >> absolutely, yes. >> you received a letter from the senate a few weeks ago regarding illegal drug sales is quite extensive, my question is, have you made any efforts to deal with the facilitating sale of falsified medicines sold through illegal online pharmacies. >> congresswoman, there's a
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national crisis, we've undertaken a lot of work in this area. we just recently rolled out -- we participated in a national takeback day. we showed dropoff locations, we worked with law enforcement here, and just last week, we received a citizenship award. and we are committed to doing more work in this area. >> we applauded you in 2010 when google took a powerful stand of principle and democratic values, over profits and came out of china. i am concerned that you are going back into china, and upholding the dragon fly procedures, which would help sensor chinese persons seeking a lifeline of democracy and freedom. how can you do that, and what are you doing to minimize or to indicate that this is not best practices? >> congresswoman, right now we
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have no plans to launch in china, we don't have a search product there. our core mission is to provide users access to information and getting access to information is a human right. we try hard to provide that information. right now, there are no plans to launch search in china. i'm committed to being fully transparent. >> i would like to pursue that with you. i thank you for that. i think that was an important statement. my community is diverse, as you may well have heard. the congressional black caucus has been working extensively. with google and other search engines to recognize there are not enough individuals in diversity. my district has a number of artists and creators what are the demographics of youtube's
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employees. and also how is youtube distributing resources. the focus is on diversity. what are you doing? youtube is a great message, and there is a whole population growing of diverse persons, including african-americans. >> diversity is an area we are committed to youtube as you highlighted is a platform where as we reach out to creators, we want to ensure there is diverse perspectives and we reach out to minority communities and we engage with them to make sure they have a voice on the platform, it's something we're committed to doing. it's a company, we are -- we've been undertaking a lot of work, we were one of the first to publish a transparency report. we public our representation numbers externally, there is a lot more work left to do, we acknowledge that, but it's an area -- we're committed to doing more. >> let me invite you to texas and the 18th congressal district
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on these very important issues. and i'd like to work with google as we go forward on some of the many issues we've raised here today. >> i'd like to put into the record a letter from epic.org. dated december 10th, 2018. ask unanimous consents, mr. chairman? >> without objection. >> let me thank the witness for his testimony. thank you for your work. >> the gentleman recognizes the gentleman from california, mr. issa for five minutes. >> i would like to follow up on some of the gentlemen that came before me on this side of the dias. who 25uked before the bias, i know the gentle laidly from texas said there is no bias. i would like to pick up where sheila just left off. she used numbers and outcome
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that she either has or believes exist to say that you have to do better in the minority community. do you agree with that? >> as a company, we are committed to making sure -- >> no, no, statistically, the outcome she measures is how she asks you to do better. your outcome is insufficient relative to the size of her community, do you agree with that? >> i interpret it as we don't have enough representation intern ali. >> very good, you got her point. here's the point i think we're giving. if you measure the outcome, such as those that were just listed by the gentleman from texas and ohio, you find there is an appearance of bias, including, quite frankly the outcome of search engines, even the question of whether, if i pay for advertising and my democratic opponent pays for advertising, if the characteristic of what we happen to search for somehow is more
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expensive than republican or democratic. will you commit to look into the case of potential political bias in all aspects of your very large company to look at the outcome measure the outcome and see if, in fact, there is evidence of bias using that and work backwards, to see if someone of that would be the outcome. >> i understand, we don't want any -- i'm confident we don't approach our work with any political bias, it's important to me that we always look at outcomes and access to make sure there's no evidence of bias. >> the reason i give you this point. for most of my adult life, there have been laws on the books to stop the events that miss jackson lee speaks of. we have had laws to protect
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minority communities. we have had laws to protect against segregation and bias. there are measurements that are still being used, including we create districts that are dedicated to minorities in this country, under federal orders because of a history or a measurement of outcome. and i would ask you to seriously come back, commit to measure, and when you find an outcome that is inconsistent with that which would be ordinarily predictable. we are two parties relatively tied in the outcome of elections on a national basis. if that outcome doesn't come out similar, then in fact you have the evidence to work backwards and see if in fact policies can be found which are causing that artificially. which by the way, might include an overzealous liberal crowd that simply spends more time
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trashing republicans than vice versa, that may be what you find will unless you look at the outcome, you're always going to say, well, we seem to be fair, but the outcome measured by my colleagues will not work out. >> congressman, i think it's a valid point, i appreciate it, and i'm happy to engage more on follow-up. >> in your opening statement and in the questions you asked, you have talked about turning off location and other data collection. and there are two things i'm concerned about, can you commit as you go through generation 15, 16, 17 of your software, to improve the dashboard, the transparency in the tools available to teach people how to protect their privacy? how to offload data, how to in fact turn off things they may not want to have, in order to gain privacy. >> it's an area we want to do
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better. as the company has grown a lot. there's complexity. and something, i think we can do better. we do today's show and give controls. we want to simply make it easier for average users to navigate these settings, and it's something we are working on. >> i will tell you, each time i try to turn it on and off. refreshing my memory is a pain. there's no simple place to go to find out how to do it. i agree, you have a dashboard, most don't. i ask unanimous consent that an article from the wall street journal, october 8th, 2018 be placed on the record. >> no objection. >> in that article it talks about the user data breach, and it also makes us aware there's a memorandum at google and that memorandum has been requested by multiple members of congress including senator thune. would you commit to provide that memorandum to congress so we
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could know more about the internal workings of this breach? >> i'm happy to have my office follow up on it, i'm not fully -- definitely commit to following up with your office on it. >> thank you. thank you mr. chairman, yield back. >> thanks, the gentleman recognizes the gentleman from tennessee for might have been minutes. >> thank you, mr. chair. >> i'd like to follow up on what mr. issa was talking about. i use your apparatus often, or your search engine. i don't understand all the different ways you can turn off the locations, there's so many different things, have you considered having an online school that people could go to with a google rep and you could kind of log in and kind of ask questions or have google -- not like comcast where you get put on hold for 30 minutes, and find someone who you can't understand, something easy to talk to somebody and say, how
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can i do this or that. >> one of the areas is giving onlining tutorials, we haven't looked at an option like that, i'm happy to take that feedback. we walk them through a flow. around 20 million people come to it every day. >> that's online, though? >> that's online. >> you don't have individuals? >> i find it's a lot easier to talk to somebody and go, this is what i want. the other thing is frustrated. privacy is something i think many people and myself are interested in. sometimes it's difficult to get the device to get that. >> you said you can turn off your location history, but that your ip address will track your information, correct? today many internet companies do collect and tour ip information we need to know the language, there may be some location
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information in there. location turns out to be in the fabric of how people use the internet today. it's important there's legislation in this area. it's a complex area, we like to do better. >> question about russia, in recent months, authoritarian regimes, most importantly, vladimir putin's regime in russia. seems to have first place. have used bots into restricting the access ability -- >> would the gentleman suspend -- the individual who has -- provided us with a poster will remove that immediately from the room. >> could we have the doors closed. >> police will escort the gentleman out of the building.
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>> i feel like i'm at a ufc football game. >> the gentleman is recognized. and i get 20 more seconds, right? >> yes. without objection much. >> authoritarian regimes have used bots to restrict the accessibility of online content by piling up turns of thousands of artificial dislikes to their videos. i am aware representatives have met with google to discuss this issue. so far, no systemic solution has been found. youtube is the main platform for authoritarian countries where the mange stream media are controlled by the governments. this results in youtube algorithms. what is youtube, and google currently doing to address this problem. >> both google and youtube are
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committed to do this. we work hard around the world so we can be a platform by which people can get their messages out, including human rights services. >> there are ways that bots could influence the algorithm by going in and disliking or whatever is that not? >> throughout our systems we deal with spam bots and bots of many, many kinds. it's what we've worked hard on over 20 years to make sure we can counter. >> to follow up on this, i heard on television this morning, msnbc said you have almost 200 lobbyists and it's amazing that they all look like ed ahn. should i talk to one of the ed
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ahn's and ask him to get with you on this issue? >> we'll definitely have our office follow-up. >> thank you, sir. by the way, as far as -- msnbc would be news, if you're on msnbc wouldn't that be in your news? >> is msnbc a news provider is that your question? >> yes. i punch news, this weekend i was on msnbc four times, and yet the first thing that comes up is the daily caller, not exactly a liberal, but i guess well known group, then roll call, then breitbart news, then the memphis brings journal then breitbart, then breitbart. it looks like you are overly using conservative news organizations on your news. i'd like you to look into that, to put on liberal people's news on google. >> we do get consents across both sides of the aisle, i can assure you we do this in a
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neutral way, we do this based on the specific key word, what we are able -- >> it's hard for me to fathom being on msnbc for eight minutes, and there's more content on breitbart news than msnbc. that may say something about -- well, i'm not going to say that. it's scary. thank you, sir. >> the chair recognizes the gentleman from ohio, mr. jordan for five minutes. >> thank you. in your opening statement, you said i lead this company without political bias and work to ensure that our products operate that way. ilea ileana mother morillo is head of marketing. does miss morillo do good work? >> i'm not familiar with her work. >> you praised her work, the day after the 2016 election, in a
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four-page e-mail she wrote, even sondar gave us a shoutout. >> she was referring to translation for a different related effort. >> two other sentences she had in that long e-mail, recapping her work in the 2016 election with the latino vote. we pushed to get out the latino vote with our features, a few lines down in her e-mail, she qualified the sentence and said, we pushed to get out the latino vote with our features in key states. she specifically sites the states, florida and nevada. near the end of her e-mail, she says, we supported partners like voto latino to pay for rides to the polls. we supported partners to pay for
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rides to the polls in key states, is it fair to say the we in both sentences refers to google? >> congressman, we are very concerned when there are allegations like that, our team looked into -- >> i'm not asking you that, does fair to say the we in both sentences refers to the company, google. >> as google, we wouldn't participate in any partisan efforts around any civic process, so i don't think so. >> we pushed and we supported -- latino to pay for rides in polls in key states, we pushed to get out the vote during the 2016 election. and how were they getting that done? they were getting that done by -- according to miss morillo, by altering your features or con figuring your features in such a way, and for paying for rides for people to get to the polls, is that an accurate reading of those -- >> is that fair to say what those sentences are talking about?
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>> not out of all the specifics, we did look into it, we found no evidence that there was any activity like that from google to an organization. >> she's not telling the truth? >> for sure we didn't find any supporting evidence of any such activity. >> she said she paid for rides to the polls, and they con figured their feature in the features in such a way to get out the latino vote? look, i actually think that is all okay, a good corporate citizen, encouraging voter participation and encouraging people to participate in the election process. so far, those sentences are fine but there's three words at the end of the sentence that cause real concern and those three words are, we to get out the latino votes with key states. now, it gets political. we supported partners like voto latino to go to the polls in key states.
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that makes everything different. i've got one question for you -- why? why did google configure its features and pay for rides to the polls to get out the latino vote only in key states? >> congressman, we found no evidence to substantiate those claims. around elections. >> you are ahead of multicultural marketing, you praised her work in this email and gave her a shout out, she was lying when you said you were getting out the latino vote in key states? >> today, and the u.s., around elections, and this is what users look to us for, to register to vote, find the nearest polling place, the hours they are open. >> i appreciate that, mr. pichai and i said that his being a good corporate citizen. but i was asking, why did you only do it in key states? >> we didn't do any such
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activity as google on these key states. as an employee -- >> did you push to get out the latino vote in all states? >> as google, we don't have goals about pushing to get any particular segment and we don't participate in partisan activities. we engage in both campaigns and sponsor both sides of the aisle. we provide information for the elections. >> you are the head -- your head of multicultural marketing site you are pushing to get out the latino vote, paying for rides for the post is for the latino vote only in key states and you are saying that is not accurate? >> yes. that's right. we found no evidence to substantiate. >> she made this up out of thin air the day after the election to a top executive and it's not true? >> congressman, i'm happy to follow-up. >> i want real answers in this committee. >> as i said earlier, we've looked into it -- expected to push to get out the key vote? the most popular states for
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latinos would be california and texas. did you push to get out the latino vote and pay for people to get to the polls in california and texas? >> we, as a company, did no effort to push out for any particular demographic. that would be against our principles. we participate in a nonpartisan way and we think it's important we do it that way. >> it's interesting, mr. chairman. i know i'm over time, but your head of multicultural marketing writes a letter the day after the election where she talks about 79% of the latino votes voted for hillary but that wasn't enough and she talks about paying for rides to the polls in key states to get out the latino vote in key states. the head of the company said that is not accurate? >> the time for the gentleman has expired and the witness may answer the question. >> chairman, it's important for us and we are happy to follow the congressman and we haven't found any evidence to
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substantiate those allegations. >> does iliana morello still work for the company? >> it's my understanding she does, yes, sir. >> i like to recognize the gentleman from georgia, mr. johnson, for five minutes. >> mr. pichai, have you ever heard of this email you were just asked about by your head of multicultural marketing? >> not at that time. but, later -- when there was concern expressed around it, i was made aware of that. >> is it true that she sent that email, or could that be fake news? [ laughter ] >> my understanding is there were emails scent like the congressman referred to. >> is your testimony today that google did not configure its features to get out the latino vote in key states?
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>> be on the partisan features, they are features for elections in those races. >> we focus on helping people register to vote and we reach users across the united states. anytime we do this, we inform people that the vote is used in a very distributed way, widely across entire countries. >> thank you, sir. google's collection and use of consumer data and the record of protecting consumers and their data, are appropriate areas of congressional oversight. sadly, this committee has neglected consumer protection as an area of oversight, choosing instead, to squander their oversight responsibility and use its power so as to bully google and other technology companies into minimizing negative news and comments about republicans.
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most importantly, the trump administration. yesterday, google disclosed that for data of over 52 million users, it may have been exposed. i understand you are phasing out the google+ platform. many americans trust your email plastic forms -- email platform and countless other products with your information and you admit that you collected private data for use in advertising. how can we be assured, considering this new breach, that the personally identifiable information of consumers is safe with you? >> congressman, it's an important question and this is why we undertake for these important products like gmail -- in building software, inevitably, it has bugs
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associated as part of the process. we undertake to find these bugs. we find them and fix it and that's why we constantly make our systems better. the biggest area for us, normally for the users, it's around security. if it gets hacked or something, we work hard. email, with the advanced program, i encourage you to sign up for using gmail because it allows a layer of protection to your account which makes it much, much harder to get your account misappropriated in any way. >> all right. thank you. yesterday, the new york times published an in-depth investigation of your location tracking applications that purportedly sold personally identified data.
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google has said that it doesn't sell data but as a corporation deeply involved in the business of consumer data use and appetizing -- advertising, your company benefits from applications that track consumer locations. how do you differentiate what google does with geolocation data from companies with applications that track and sell the data? >> as a company, we do not sell user data. that would be against our principles. >> how do you differentiate what you do with the geolocation data from companies that do sell that data? how do you differentiate what you do with that data versus with these applications that do track and sell the data do? >> an important source of differentiation, we do not and
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would never sell user data. we do have consumer preferences with how their data is used for advertising and most of our users experience relevancy keywords that your typing and that's why we get most of the information. you can type into control your ad settings into google and you can actually change the use of your personal data for advertising, as well. we allow that with an option. >> do believe google has done enough to be transparent in its data collecting policies? >> it's an area that will be an ongoing area for us. we've worked with it a lot over the years and we made it very transparent and we encouraged users to check it out. in fact, users are checking it. last month, about 170 million users did check it. you will see more in this area. >> thank you. >> the chair recognizes the gentleman from texas.
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>> thank you, mr. chairman. i have an iphone. if i move from here and go sit with my democrat friends, which will make them really nervous, does google track my movement? through this phone, does google know that i have moved here and moved over to the left? it's either yes or no. >> not by default. it may be a google service and -- >> google knows i am moving? it's not a trick question. you make $100 billion a year you ought to be able to answer that question. does google know through this phone that i'm moving over and sitting next to mr. johnson, which would make him real nervous? is his question. yes or no. >> i wouldn't be able to answer it without looking -- >> you can't say yes or no?
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>> without knowing more details, sir. >> if i walk over and sit next to mr. johnson and carry my phone, does google know that i was sitting here and that i moved over there? >> you are welcome, anytime. yes or no? >> i generally don't know. >> i'm shocked you don't know. i think google obviously does. are you familiar with the general data protection regulation by the european union? >> very familiar. we worked over 18 months on it. >> the european union protects the right of privacy of the people in europe. we don't have such a law and the united states, do we? >> congressman, we have supported -- >> we do not have such a law in the united states, do we? >> we don't have a comprehensive user data privacy law. >> are you familiar with resolution 1039. i've introduced it and it would
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adopt some of the european practices in america and give consumers in the united states the right of privacy. our view familiar with that legislation? i will get a copy for you. it's ironic that the u.s., supposed to be the country in the world that protects privacy of individuals more than anybody else, we are playing second fiddle to the europeans and they protect the privacy of their folks more than we do. i think the u.s. congress needs to move in the direction to allow citizens to opt-in to the dissemination of the information, rather than opt out, which seems to be the current law. as mr. cohen stated, i don't think most americans know all that these phones can do. and one thing it can do is disseminate information that we are unaware of to all different people out there.
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the united states could change the rules and make it so that we, as consumers, opt-in. otherwise, that information is not disseminated. that is just my opinion. what does google view as objectionable? >> i think there are -- if you are referring to content policies -- we did publish that the categories for youtube, like violent extremism, pornography, child safety, fraudulent activities. we defined categories. >> what are extreme political views? you found those objectionable? not saying you shouldn't, but what are those extreme political views? >> we think it's important -- google and youtube -- their platforms -- >> what are those extreme political views that you find objectionable? >> we don't define any political views as objectionable
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. >> you let all political views, even objectionable political views? >> we have areas defined as not allowed on our platforms. for example, on youtube, we have definitions on hate speech but it's defined as speech which has the primary goal of inciting hatred or violence to groups of people. >> you would agree that hate speech has many different definitions, depending on who is doing the defining, wouldn't you agree? >> we understand it's a subject to the area and could be open to interpretation. we define it and publish our definition. >> do you believe that google has been brought out here -- do you believe it's biased? >> congressman, it's really important to me that we work on bias. >> do you believe google is biased? it's either yes or no. >> no. not in our approach. >> it is a private company, is it not? >> yes, it is. >> it's not the government. google is not the government.
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>> not last i checked, no. >> do you want the government to regulate google? >> today, we are subject to a lot of regulation across many different agencies. >> you are not subject to the definition of what biases by the government coming in and saying google cannot be biased and we, the government, will decide what is biased and not biased. you are not subject to that philosophy? >> not today. >> i hope we don't get to the point where government tries to regulate what bias is. because, this is an independent and free company. google may have -- to me, as part of doing business like any other media outlet. they can say what they want and i've gone over time, mr. chairman. i have some other questions i'd like to submit for the record. >> mr. chairman, if i might, the gentleman is certainly welcome to join me on this side
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of the island switch parties at any time. >> [ laughter ] >> it's getting late in his career. >> that's right. [ laughter ] >> i will just respond to the gentleman from texas and say that we will be submitting questions in writing to you, mr. pichai, including the one from the gentleman from texas and we would ask that you answer them promptly. >> i'd be very happy to. >> we recognize the gentleman from florida, mr. joy, for five minutes. >> i think they should prevent illegal activity and platforms and algorithms that promise to improve our lives can actually magnify some of the worst tendencies. they might be accountable for the content on these services with congressional testimony. mark zuckerberg said his company is responsible for the content on the platform and the washington post interview said
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we have to have the content of the platforms and we can't say what the platform is in our job is done. mr. pichai, would you join your peers to be accountable for the content of the platforms? >> we use this to provide, activate and collect information, high-quality information. we work hard at all those commitments. >> i take that as a guest. i i want to return to the privacy discussion. mr. pichai, for a privacy check, you are right. it's quite good but i want to talk about what it does and what it doesn't do and perhaps you can help me work through this a bit. my settings for google, on my device information is paused and my audio activity is paused and my you to watch history is paused and my youtube search history is paused. that said, it doesn't mean that you are not collecting data on
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me, does it? >> for those categories, it would stop collecting. >> i understand. overall, it doesn't mean that you've stopped collecting data. you are still collecting data on search, on ways that can help advertising and help provide the services that you provide. i appreciate that. my question is this -- i wanted to focus on the new york times article about what they referred to as the mobile location industry. i understand the way the data is collected, when you talked on your website about searching google and getting directions for maps, watching videos. you could be collecting the services to make it work better. i understand that. that is also collected to use in advertising and according to the new york times story, it's a hot market to target
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advertising reaching an estimated $21 billion this year. it talked about your company and facebook dominating the mobile ad market and also the location-based advertising. it says google also receives precise information from apps that use the ad services. can you explain that to me? is the new york times saying that if there is an a company that uses your ad services, and given the dominant places you play in advertising, that would be -- i imagine -- most. if any company is using your advertising, then that data that they collect would also be available to you? ultimately, the data they collect on me, that's my question. >> we, as a company and we have commitments to you -- we view the data to belong to users and we don't transmit personal data
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. >> i understand that but i'm asking about the data that -- the new york times said that google receives precise location information from apps that use the ad services. my question is, do you receive information -- do you receive information about locations that i travel from with companies that use your advertising service? >> i just want to make sure i understand the specifics. there may be some information. for example, if you are providing an ad for a restaurant, we normally would do it in location a for you and you have an option to turn the setting off. but, since we are providing that information, it's not coming from the company to us. >> that's what i don't understand. if a company uses your advertising, does their location sharing get to you? and here is why.
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the times talks about the information, it's not tied to someone's name or phone number but the personal information as you define it seems to be named, email address and billing information. the question we have, mr. pichai -- while that may be personal information and you treat that the way we would expect, there is a lot of information about where we go and where we are at any moment that can -- as the times pointed out -- allow someone with access to the raw deity, including employees or clients to identify a person without their consent, by following someone and pinpointing a phone that regularly spent time at that person's home address. can you use locations people go to identify and back into who a person is? you wouldn't do it, but could someone else do that same thing? >> we wouldn't do that. to answer your question, i'm happy to follow up but i want
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to make sure that i answer the specific question, i think. at a high location, i would say location is an important area for privacy legislation. i think it's important that we give the location for our users and as a company, we want to lead the way. >> one last question -- >> the time the gentleman had has expired. the chair recognizes the gentleman from pennsylvania, mr. moreno. >> thank you for chairman and for all of you here. let me start off by saying that you and the officer of the company, particularly you, you are at the helm, you have a tremendous responsibility toward your employees, a responsibility toward your stockholders and your company, and we thank you for the jobs. you also have more awesome
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responsibility to the american people to make sure that you educate and to make sure that you stay in the middle-of-the- road. because, over the years as a prosecutor, and as a member of congress, there is a lot of people who believe everything that's put out by anyone. we are a 10-second society, now and we can't hold conversations, we can only read 10 or 12 words and that is supposedly the gospel. you have a responsibility to see that the truth is out there. i will hold you to doing that. i don't believe in government taking control or defining -- as my friend the judge says -- what is right and what is wrong.
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i, for one, the less federal government my life, the better. i am depending on you and companies like your company, to help us along these lines because if the federal government does ever step in to regulate, you are not going to like it. that said, i have a concern, concerning china. in 2010, google left the chinese marketplace due to concerns over hacking, censorship and how the chinese government would possibly gain access to data. i'm interested in what has changed since 2010 and how working with the chinese government for these results was part of the google core values. do you understand my question? >> congressman, right now, there are no plans for us to launch a search product in china. we are, in general, always looking to see this as part of
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our core mission and principles, to provide users with information. based on every country, we reach out and give more information and it has a very positive impact and we feel that calling. right now, there are no plans to launch in china. for how we approach a position like that, i will be fully transparent, including the policymakers here and engage in that politely. >> my understanding is you have no plans to enter into any agreements with china concerning google in china? >> we currently do not have a search product there. >> do you plan on having a search product they are? >> right now, there are no plans to launch a search product in china. >> let me ask it this way. in the future, if you decide to
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do that, would you do that? what information would you share with the chinese, concerning other users, other countries? >> when we look to operate in a country, we would look at what the conditions are to operate and there are times in the past that we debated the conditions to operate and we explore possibilities. currently, there is an effort, only internally, for us. we are not doing this in china. but, i'm going to be transparent if we plan something there. >> i'm sure you are aware that right now, there are thousands, maybe hundreds of thousands of people that the chinese government has on computers trying to hack in the u.s. and other countries. the same thing is taking place
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in russia. simply because of the population. what can google do to curtail that, if not eliminate through this hacking into other countries. >> we've faced significant before with this, the users, it's something we missed a lot over the years. we've worked with law enforcement and we rely on this but it's a comprehensive effort and something we take seriously. >> remember the responsibility that i think you have. >> we recognize the gentle part -- the woman from california. >> a like to follow up on questions, specifically a thought -- authoritarian regimes. i want to know if you could be
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more specific in terms of how google would respond. in other words, would you expand your staff or modify algorithms in an effort to identify the online trolls? and in terms of the flooding that takes place, what specifically would you do to address this? >> it's something we face across a set of products. people are trying to spam and the future, so on and so forth. they did this with a traffic pattern and we mitigate that. we also collaborate with others. law enforcement has been very helpful in that regard. >> the example of the bots -- i saw an example where there was 125 dislikes and the next day
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there were 84,000. how do you respond to a situation like that where it's obviously done purposely? >> for the manipulation of likes and dislikes, the reports are developed in our systems. there are spikes in activity and it may not be humans doing it. we have that spam or abuse of the system. >> do you have staff dedicated to looking at that? >> yes. we have ai systems and manual reviewers and we are staffing up the manual reviewers significantly over the past couple of years. we do it comprehensively. >> anticipating what took place in 2016, wanting to know how you are responding to that, they called for fake protest.
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for african-americans to turn out, it was something fake or to have white supremacists be ginned up to attack communities of color. specifically, what is google doing to respond to that? >> we mainly saw with respect to russia, limited and proper activity on our ad platforms. in general, we are not a function of the working company across the products we do. we are connecting groups of people and that's not how google mainly works today. we haven't seen that kind of activity from our platforms. we are vigilant and i'm happy to share any findings. >> i like to ask a couple of questions about online traders of color. mainstream media outlets often failed to cater to communities of color with relatable content or resolve lingering issues of underrepresentation or
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misrepresentation. communities of color have sought out digital mediums to tell their stories and in some cases it has been very successful and has led to larger networks representing their talent and given a platform to communities that otherwise would be silent. what policies would google develop to put in place to ensure the voice of our online craters can expand? >> there's a lot of community outreach programs and we partner with other organizations to do important work in this area. today, you will see a platform with a very diverse set of opinions, it's partly the strength of the platform and the reach it provides. >> could i get the information about your outreach, specifically who you do outreach to? that would be very helpful. >> i'd be very happy to do that. >> i will give my time to representative deutch. >> i just wanted to finish up.
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i appreciate you being here and i wanted to follow up on something that the chairman started our hearing with. that was a question about information collected by google . i think the report he referred to talked about information collected specifically on android phones. even if those phones aren't on wi-fi or cell service isn't on, is that something that happens? >> congressman, you wouldn't have something when there's no connectivity to happen. >> i'm sorry. we haven't been able to substantiate that. >> you are looking into those findings? >> our goal is to give users the information they want. users give us feedback. they want us to be location
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aware. >> i understand. but, you are not aware of data being collected while the phone is not connected to either a cell service or a wi-fi? >> there would be specific incidents. for example, gps may be working. in general, no. >> finally, the question is, if you learn that it is being shared, i would like you to share that with us. if you learn that information when the customer turns on his or her cell service, if that information is then sent back to your company on their data plan, a lot of people, obviously, have limited data plans. if you could also look at whether the information is sent back to the extent it's happening that it might cause some people to go over their limits, thereby costing them more on their monthly bill. that would be helpful information, as well. >> that's good feedback.
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>> mr. collins, the gentleman from georgia for five minutes. >> there's an understanding that has come across from everyone here. i live by this with my adult life, perception is reality. you can disagree with the perception or the reality but at a certain point of time, as you've heard from us discussing on both sides of the aisle today, there is several perceptions of what is being stored and what is not being stored and how that data met the privacy issue. also, the effect or the outcome of the searches. now, one of the other issues is not just google, but youtube and there is another issue i will not touch today but will do some follow-up questions. the is -- it is the issue of content and how that is sold in many cases and can be worked on. we will deal with those issues another day and we've talked about this. we've discussed what you collect and don't collect so the next few questions will be yes and
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no questions and i'm not trying to trick you. it's simply what you collect and how you collected. in dealing with google, do you or do you not collect and identify name, age and address? yes or no. >> if you are creating an account, yes. using an account, yes. >> specific search histories when someone types something in a search bar? >> if you have searches returned on, yes. >> the address? >> depending on the situation, yes. >> gps signals, wi-fi signals, bluetooth beacons? >> it would depend on the specifics but there may be situations, yes. >> gps, yes. >> and conversations with using google voice products? >> we give the option to turn it on or off. >> if a person didn't know about voice and conversation? >> they would know that when they initiated with google and set the terms. >> contents of emails and
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google documents? >> we store the data but we don't read or look at your gmail. >> do you have access to that? >> as a company, we have access to it. >> so, you could? i'm not asking do you or don't you, but i'm saying, you could. >> we have clear, establish policies with that data. >> speaking of that, your policy change 28 times including eight times since january 2016. this is why i'm asking their rules -- these questions. is there origin of data where google would refuse to collect that is not already protected by laws? >> there are many categories of information today. in particular, anything with health data. >> those are covered under that. anything you would not collect outside of the two i named, which is things you cannot collect? >> there are many things that we don't collect. for example, for google home,
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we wouldn't collect conversations unless you specifically ask us to. we definitely are very careful to minimize the data to provide the service to our users. >> i'm glad you mentioned that. how long do you keep the data you have captured? >> we give you the choice to store the data or not but if you store the data from the time you turn it on, you store it free. >> all this has been discussed and identified. how many would you say -- how many people actually understand that they can cut this off? >> we remind people and every day, 20 million people come to make changes in these settings. >> you control 95% of searches and you control this in a very large way. i would say the vast majority are not the sole -- not the most sophisticated and not as familiar with this. would that be a fair statement?
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>> could you repeat that. >> i will get back to it. earlier, we said to identify it, name and address, it's treated differently. if that is true, how are you treating them different and is the same data collection process still done? how is it different than others we spoke of? locators and things like that. >> we offer different controls for that. for location, we give specific controls for voice activity and we give controls where we tried to meet the user expectations. for example, some people may want search history to be available but they don't want to youtube history. we give those choices to our users. >> one of the general dynamics of this industry is data minimization and you brought it up if you moments ago. the issue i had was from march of this year, there was a security breach from google take out. it was 5.5 gigabyte, not a few
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names and addresses of where you went. why does google need this information? we can answer that and the fact that 85-86% of your revenue comes from advertising so we know you manipulate the data in some way. can you explain what you do to minimize this data? generally a standard practice among those who collect data? >> our goal -- if we are providing you with a service like gmail which we have done for 15 years, we store that data for our users and they expect us to. we try to match user expectation. for the data, most of it comes from the keywords you type. the minimal data, we give you options to turn this personalization off and we store most of the data to help give the user experience they want and that's what we are trying to do. >> i go back to where i
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started. perception is reality. how you monetize, how you control the flow of information and the monetization, it is a concern. the perception of how it is used and from what side of the aisle is something that this committee will take up and continue to process but when most people deal with this, as i said earlier, i'm not sure in the broad scope of things that simply clicking yes -- especially in a society where these things -- and we talked about mobile -- it's going to open up a much larger situation. it's not simply monetizing data, it's using information that can be then used by law enforcement or others in legal proceedings to be used against them. they won't understand exactly what is going on. with that, my time is up. >> the gentleman from rhode island. >> thank you mr. pichai for being here. in 2006, the open internet was
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designed so that no central gatekeeper could exert control to discriminate against rivals, consumers or other businesses. it's increasingly clear that this virtual cycle of information is fundamentally threatened by the dominance of some powerful companies. this was clear in an open letter this year that it was warned that the open internet has been compressed under the weight of a few dominant platforms. it will harm competition and control ideas and opinions shared online. 86% of americans strongly support an open and decentralized internet free of powerful gate keepers with the ability to discriminate against rivals, threaten innovation or harm consumers. with that in mind, google's discriminatory -- google's discriminatory conduct, google has harmed the competitive process by favoring its own products and services over rivals and by deprive tories sing -- d prioritizing internet
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openness. will they commit to other business's for google products? >> congressmen, with respect, i disagree with that characterization. the most relevant information is how we approach our products. >> does it include the use of discriminatory practices? is that part of your business model? >> definitely not. when they look at this, they excluded amazon for the space. we are interested improvising -- providing users with the information they are looking for. that's what we are interested in doing. >> i plan to work with the trade
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commission to develop a legislation to address this discriminatory conduct online. will google commit to working with congress on legislative proposals designed to ensure that online firms with significant market power are not able to harm the competitive process for discriminatory conduct? >> would be happy to engage constructively on legislation around any of these areas. >> thank you. i want to turn to the question of china. mr. pichai, the operating environment in china has deteriorated with respect to surveillance, censorship and the likes, since google made the decision in 2010 to leave. in september i sent you a letter about serious concerns that google is planning to reenter the chinese market with a search engine that would likely have to comply with strict censorship and surveillance imposed by the chinese government. since then, wide opposition has emerged. it is deteriorating with the
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environment and you are launching an app in that environment that seems to be completely inconsistent with google's recently launched ai principles that say he will not design or deploy technology -- and i quote -- widely accepted principles of international law and human rights. it's hard to imagine you could operate in the chinese market under the current government framework and maintain a commitment to universal values like personal privacy and freedom. are any employees having product meetings on this chinese project? if not, when did those stop? >> we have undertaken an internal effort but there are no plans to launch service in china, as i said earlier. >> are there current discussions with any member of the chinese government on launching this app? >> currently, we are not in
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discussions around launching a search product in china. >> are there discussions with the chinese government on this? >> it currently is an internal effort and i'm happy to consult as we transfer into that to launch a product in china. >> who, at dragon comment -- at google, is leading the dragonfly effort? >> our effort is around building search and it's by our search teams. it's a limit for that, currently. >> for the censorship in china, while you are ceo of google, with that happened? >> congressman, i commit to engaging and one of the things important to us as a company, we have a stated mission of providing users with information. we think it's our duty to explore possibilities and to give users access to information. we have this commitment but as i said earlier, we would be
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very thoughtful and we would engage widely as we made progress. >> this goes beyond google and frankly, beyond china. as we rise with authoritarianism around the world, they are using censorship and repression against their own people. we must assert american moral leadership and it's important that other countries will look at that relationship. mr. chairman, to submit for the records, 16 colleagues and i sent a letter to mr. pichai. his response and a letter from 50 human and civil rights organizations oppose the launch of a censored google search in the chinese market. i would note, mr. chairman, that in the submission of this for unanimous consent, the letter reports -- and i quote -- the chinese government is actively learning the model for pervasive digital censorship and around the world, many governments look to china's example and major industry leaders equity answers to such
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demands will likely cause of the regimes to follow china's lead provoking a race to the bottom in standards. it is emboldening state intelligence agencies to demand greater access to user data. >> that objection will be added. >> so ordered. >> we go to the gentleman from florida. >> thank you, mr. chairman. have you ever launched an investigation into whether political bias is impacting the consumer experience? >> congressman, when we got complaints, we look into them. >> have you expressly launched an investigation into political bias of your employees? >> on our employees? we always take any allegations
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around code of conduct across every issue. if we see them, we look into them. >> you said yesterday -- for political bias, you haven't launched those investigations because there are so many redundancies and there is so much peer review that that would not be possible. is that your testimony today? >> congressman, the processes, there are several steps in the process including launch committees and years of testing. >> your employees could get together and chat in groups, right, google groups? >> yes, they can. >> one of those groups is the civil rights group? >> we have many employee resource groups taking part in conversations. >> have you ever looked into the resist group? >> congressman, no. >> is that a surprise to you that there is a resist group? >> i'm not aware if such a group exists or not. >> if there were such a group,
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would that be what you would look into? >> we have clear policies around how our products are built. >> it's built to resist the agenda of president trump and there's a resist group in your company with groups of employers, not one, are getting together to engage in discourse on company time with company infrastructure. does that strike you as something you would want to investigate? >> of never seen such a group. nothing like that has been brought to my attention and a happy to follow-up and understand it better. >> i seek unanimous consent to enter into the record document that purports miles goring to the google group, resist. and i'm also reading from the discussion that occurred over breitbart in google ads and i'm quoting from one of your employees who purportedly posted, anyone wants to hold their nose and look through
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breitbart.com for hate speech, why would someone need to hold their nose to do that work? >> congressman, we have 90,000 employees and they communicate in forums and as a company, we allow freedom of expression. we don't condone such comments expressed in these things. we are very clear about the policies for how we build our products and we serve our publishers that way. >> well, if you haven't launched an investigation in any of the employees -- it would take a group to engage in improper conduct -- of those groups of employees are engaging in discussions on your platform and if one of those platform groups is resist and if on that resist movement, that site or other sites in your platform, there is discussion of suppressing conservative speech, why would that not be something you would launch an internal investigation in and publish the reports and sanction those employees that may or may not be engaged in that conduct so we can have
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greater comfort in the user experience? >> congressman, we have checks and balances for employees. it's not just this issue come across any issue. we protect the sanctity of our systems and process and we will do that. >> how can i have confidence that you protect the sanctity of your system when you don't even know that employees are getting together on your own company infrastructure to talk about political activity? >> our systems are designed where we assume there could be bad intent and we have defined principles. externally and internally, at any given moment, we assume that somebody may be acting in bad faith and that's why we've designed this system with all the protections in place. we do that for the security of the systems. >> if your assumption is that people can act in bad faith, why then have you not launched an investigation into the communications that seem to
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indicate a desire to suppress conservative political movements and political voices? >> there are allegations with the specific intent of manipulating our products, we would conduct an investigation. >> that's good to hear. the wall street journal said they were discussing tweaking search terms to frame the discussion over the travel ban. did you perform an investigation into that? >> we looked into it and there was no attempt at anything to influence our product. at times, they are doing important news events or even having a set of tools for crisis response. during the taliban, the department of homeland security was looking to put out information because there was confusion around the event. there was some discussion around things like that, too. >> i would strongly suggest that one of the crisis response tools is the investigation into the discourse of your employees on resisting the trump
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presidency, resisting the trump agenda and smothering conservative advocacy for that concept. i yield back to the chair. >> the gentleman from california. >> welcome mr. pichai. i represent congressional district in the san francisco bay area where a number of my constituents work at google. i was hoping we could dive into some concerns that i hear from them. also, that i hear from constituents, how concerned they are about privacy. does the united states need a national privacy law? >> congressman, i'm of the view, given how important privacy is, that we are better off with the overarching >> would you mind moving the microphone in front of your mouth so we can hear you better? thank you. >> i'm of the opinion that we are better off with a more overarching data protection
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framework for users and i think that would be good to do. >> in europe, just last year, they implemented the general data protection regulation known as gdpr and the goals were for consumers to know and to understand and consent. would you agree that if there was a framework in the u.s. to have a national privacy law, that would be the critical framework to have? to understand? >> we've had quite a bit of experience now working with gdpr and we have done it for many, many months. i think there are -- i think it's a very a thoughtful crafted piece of legislation. there is some value for global regulations and it's important for users to get services globally. i do see value in the lying that when we can. >> mr. pichai, as part of russia's attack on our democracy in 2016, it used ads on your
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platform, facebook platforms and twitter. money was provided in rubles and from russia addresses. what has google done to make sure that doesn't happen again? secretary mattis confirmed that russia continued the attack on the democracy and the most recent midterm elections. >> congressman, we did see limited improper activity and obviously we learn from that and we've been very transparent with our findings. over the past few years, anytime we have found other activity, we materially disclose it and we are constantly evolving the practice, as we do. our effect has been pretty successful, so far. it's an area where it's never enough and you will constantly be vigilant. >> mr. pichai, i don't think anyone disagrees but seeing a results page can be useful.
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for example, if i type in, what is 25 x-letter 15 and google spits out 375, that is useful. today, if my wife was to search for a pediatrician in dublin, california and instead of being matched with the most relevant information from across the web according to google's algorithms, my wife or any mom would see a map that is powered by google's ecosystem of local reviews. in response to claims that google put its own results ahead of its competitors, when its page rank algorithm believes the competitor should be ranked higher, google has told certain international enforcers that local search results come from a specialized index, which is distinguished from the organic web index. i was hoping you could clarify if it's technically possible for google to compare local business contact -- content against third-party systems like quality score?
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>> we employ a wide variety of signals and we are interested in providing user feedback. we respond to user feedback. you could be on a mobile phone with limited connectivity and you could be a busy parent checking for information to try to find a doctor because your kid is sick. we are looking to see how we can get that information to you as quickly as possible and that is what drives our product. if that information is available from another company, we make it available and we provide that information because we have better information. we are constantly looking and we do that to the best of our ability. >> thank you. >> you bet. >> the chair recognizes the gentleman from louisiana. >> thank you, mr. chairman and mr. pichai. we want to thank you for appearing today and taking the time to answer our questions. you and i both agreed it's important for your company and for the people, for us to have this public hearing and to get
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this information on the record, so to speak. as we discussed in my office yesterday, my conservative colleagues and i are fierce advocates of free speech and the marketplace of ideas and we do not want to impose burdensome regulations on your industry. however, we believe we have an affirmative duty to ensure that the engine that processes is a much as we said, 90% of all internet searches, is never used too unfairly censor conservative viewpoints or suppress political views. your challenge today and in the days ahead, is to convince the members of this body that google and your industry peers will implement your own sufficient safeguards and solutions to this problem. in previous hearings and discussions, google described the trusted program as a source for recommended contact to be removed from your platform and recently google released a platform and content remover
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that revealed that out of the 7.7 million automated flag and removals from your platform, 70% of that content was removed before it received any viewers from the public. how does google ensure that content removed and the automated process is not merely because of philosophical or political differences? >> congressman, it's an important question. as you said, youtube is committed to be a platform for freedom of expression and we go to great lengths to do that. we only handle the areas of clearly defined policies we have. we do have automated systems. but, we later spotcheck it to make sure the system is working as intended. for the feedback, you can update if you think something was removed erroneously but it's really important to us that we apply the platform for freedom of expression that increases areas where we have said we are very transparent about the areas and the clear policies with which we do those
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things. >> you've spoken today about objectivity. that's the goal and we applaud and appreciate that. as you know, alphabet incubator jigsaw has introduced is using machine learning to filter speech that is viewed as unproductive such as that offensive language or attacks. when creating a tool like this what steps is google taking to protect conservative viewpoints considered toxic from viewers as the program progresses? >> congress meant, it is a platform for publishers to use. the publishers get to define what they want acceptable or not. and then that is what the tool provides for them. whether the point is valid we don't want to be in the position of editorializing
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publisher content and we are just providing a tool for publishers to better drive the content on their platforms. >> you mentioned the appeals process. how quickly does that appeals process work? in other words what is the review process? >> i think it varies by case. for example areas like terrorism, we placed higher up in the queue but we are ramping up our resources. sometimes it can be a matter of hours. if it's areas that have to do with copyright, we have a system by which we can automatically detect and response right away to copyright owners. it's a constant work in progress. >> in the committee hearing with google's miss jennifer downs, i raised the case of the alliance defending freedom's content being removed after being reported by a trusted flag or
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new tube. the flagging organization was the southern poverty law center which kind of has an infamous reputation for being i would say radical left organization that opposes conservative viewpoints and what criteria does google use when liking status to third parties such as the splc? >> today my first our custom flaggers don't remove content. they can flag content for us to review and we reviewed flag content. it is mostly used by law enforcement, many nonprofit agencies in important areas like child safety, terrorism and so on. the southern poverty law system is a trusted flagger, many people can register we have never flagged a single video on our platform. we have reached a ride variety of organizations including conservative organizations and we would take your suggestions on organizations that need
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flaggers. >> tran26 from california. >> this is a hearing in a series of ridiculous hearings. the first amendment protects private individuals and corporations free speech rights. now there are things that google does unrelated to speech that i disagree with. but when it comes to search algorithms your prioritization, what it is you want to see, the first amendment protects you. first i want to ask you a few questions, some of them are fairly basic and i apologize but i feel i have to educate some of my colleagues on how the u.s. constitution works and feel free to answer yes or no. my first question is we, here on the judiciary committee our government and google is a corporation, correct? yes or no. >> yes. >> the first amendment limit
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what can or cannot be considered free speech. it does not limit google. and under the laws, you and your board of directors have a fiduciary duty to your shareholders, correct? >> yes. >> one of the ways that google generates a profit is when consumers user search engine they watch videos, some of them click on add, the user applications. isn't that one way that you generate profit? >> that is one of the business models. >> and if consumers were not getting the results they wanted or tapping into individual they want to see they might start moving to your competitors, isn't that right? >> every monday when we have our management meeting, we worried that we have that happening. so we work hard to earn their trust. >> are one of the views that people want to see our dog and
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cat videos. you have the right to promote dog and cat videos in a not thing that you do that you want to do that, isn't that correct? >> congressman, i am not an expert on certain amendments but i think that is right. >> saw last week when i got notice we were going to have another one of these hearings i did a search on google. i searched for a congressman steve scalise, he is a republican. i hit the news tab and the first four articles that came up were generally positive. the first one is from townhall and generally conservative location about his book, "back in the game.". the third is about election results. you don't have a group of people who are sitting there thinking, hey we like steve scalise so we are going to generate positive results, that's not is what is
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happening? >> i am very happy to see congressman steve scalise back but we don't deal with individual queries so >> nowhere in your program does even show up, doesn't -- is not right? now i'm going to do a real-time google search with a very similar term on the change that i am going to change one word. i'm going to hit councilman steve king, had the news tab. the first article that pops up is from abc news, it says steve king's races -- racial diatribe calls for censure. you don't have a group of people trying to modify the news every time a negative article comes up, that's not is what happening, correct? >> we are trying to reflect what is currently what is newsworthy and what is being discussed about that phase.
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>> let me just conclude here by stating the obvious. if you want positive search results, do positive things. if you don't want negative search results, don't do negative things. my colleagues across the aisle if you are getting bad search results, don't blame google or facebook or twitter, consider blaming yourself. i yield back. >> the chair now recognizes the gentleman from arizona, mr. flight. >> take you for being here. i don't disagree with one point made by the last interrogatory, let's call him a questioner. that's easier to say. in the sense that i think you have a first amendment right to do what you guys want to do. you are a private company, there are very few constraints on the first amendment, although there are a lot of
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constraints when we look at things like libel and slander and intimidating to yelling fire in a crowded theater. we have constraints on first amendment, but you have seen as we have done here today that google doesn't have bias. you yourself have said that you personally don't have bias and you have also tried to implement policies to prevent bias, isn't that true? >> we work hard to build our products that way. >> in some respect we haven't heard much discussion about the human intersection with the creation or manipulation or editing of algorithms. but there is human interaction and you must create the algorithms and then you might have some artificial intelligence that might do some additional information. but originally, the creativity comes from the humans, right? >> that's right. >> well, how can we be assured
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that foreign adversaries won't use your platform against americans or american national interest? >> we always worry about that as it tech factor and this is why we make sure that the best way we do when we are building a product, we don't rely on one person or groups of people to be able to do it. we follow a set of processes including test and validation including feedback from users. and we use rate externally to evaluate. for example our search values in the united states are in all 50 states in the united states. we get the perspective of everyone around the country. >> that doesn't really get to answering my question of security assurance. and so i guess if manipulation of your information systems was not possible or effective, we would not be seeing so many countries investing in the
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capability of method -- manipulation or chinese or iranians or others that are attempting -- attempting to manipulate the system. >> there may be attempt to use the products and services because we provide advertising products. and what was all in the 20 17 election, two accounts related to russia were authorized using our platform. that is the kind of threat we see and something we are working on to mitigate. >> so i guess i would say that it looks like you guys have a policy of do no evil. is that clear to say? >> it is not our official policy but it is a statement embraced bias internally. >> and as other people brought up the work that you may or may not be doing in china, and i
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wanted clarification of that. are you looking to expand in china, cooperate with the chinese government on a platform released in china? >> to the question about search right now we have no plans to launch a certain china. we obviously have explored how we can continue to serve users in china. >> are you doing anything with the data share with the chinese government? >> today we don't operate our services, which involves user data. like search or gmail like in china. >> so you're doing nothing at all in china? "well we do provide android which is an operating system we work with partners around the world and they are manufacturers including in china. >> so your manufacturers, but beyond manufacturers are there any platform users to mark >> we don't have any special agreements for user data.
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correct. >> do you share the data that you collect on civilians with united states federal government? >> we comply with valid law enforcement requests and, they have a due process we comply. >> what is the extent of that? >> we published a transparency report where we give insights into the law enforcement requests that have been brought in an hour compliance there. >> the last question i have, on may 2016 google banned all ads by payday lenders even though it invested in lindauer which is a payday lender. it banned ads by competitors. is that a normal practice? >> congressman, we have our ad policies in that particular area because we saw evidence of misuse and we had gotten a lot of feedback and that is what we reacted to. >> did you ban your own lid up at? >> i think one of our sister
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companies has an investment in lind. >> was it banned? >> i can follow up i'm not aware of the specifics. >> my time has expired. >> welcome and thank you for your testimony today. do you know what frazzled trey is? >> i'm not sure about the specifics of it but over the past 20 for hours. >> i just heard about it it's an article with the headline a platform for free speech that extremist routinely exploit. and the article explains that the recommendation engine for youtube, which is owned by google, correct? >> yes. >> the search engine for google recommended that politicians celebrateĆ£as celebrities and
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others were sexually abusing the remains of children often in satanic rituals according to a watchdog group. the claims echo the often discredited pizza-gate which led to a man two years ago of a man firing shots because he believed that children were being held as sex slaves by democratic leaders. one variation which began spreading on youtube claimed that hillary clinton had sexually assaulted a youth and drank her blood. and that was dubbed frazzle drip. it's amazing how this is over youtube and some of the frazzle drip clips purport to show clinton and her former aide speaking and invoking the death penalty. one clip has been viewed 77,000 times and remains online today has a voice over that says will
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these children become the desert ? and this is one example that the use, the extreme right and paranoid conspiracy groups using youtube as a place to trade their videos and promote propaganda. what is your company policy on that? and are you trying to deal with it? >> we are constantly undertaking effort to deal with misinformation but we have clearly stated policies and we have made lots of progress in many of the areas over the past year, for example in areas of child safety and terrorism and so on, but we are looking to do more. this was a recent thing but i am following up on it and making sure we are evaluating these against our policies. but we know there is more work to be done and we will be doing
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that. >> one of the videos discussed included the images of a body on a table with four restrained children and hillary clinton with a bloodied mouth and banks claiming that she and aberdeen drank the blood. that was removed within another consisting of an exact copy of the video remains online or apparently remains online. so is your basic position that this is something you want to try to do something about but basically there is just an avalanche of sex material and there's nothing that can be done and it should be buyer beware or consumer you wear when you go on youtube? >> you know we grapple with difficult issues and we have to look at it on a video by video basis. we need to validate the videos, why that's in our policies and we just try to do for the volume of content that we do
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get. it is our responsibility i think to make sure that youtube is a platform for freedom of expression but it is responsible and contributes positively to society. >> some my colleagues are upset about negative references about donald trump, not hillary clinton or not barack bought -- brahma. and they somehow want to heckle you into playing favorites and i think that would be silly and ridiculous take away. on the other hand there is public material that is a true danger. you have got the right to have whatever politics you want, we could subpoena fox news and bring them in here and beat them up about 90 percent of the references to barack obama or hillary clinton are negative, but they've got that right under the first amendment. but i think the point at
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which it becomes a matter of serious public interest is when your communications vehicles being used to promote propaganda leads to violent events. like the guy showing up with in the pizza gate conspiracy case. so i guess my question is are you taking that threat seriously? >> you may answer the question but your time has expired. >> we review things that could incite hate or violence and we are clearly taking a lot of action. but i want to acknowledge that there is more work to be done with our growth comes more responsibility and we are committed to doing better as we invest more in this area. >> thank you mr. chairman. >> the floor recognizes the gentlewoman from georgia. >> make you mr. chairman, do you have a precise location on precise highly sensitive data. consumers opt into that, do you
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agree with that? >> yes i agree with that. >> do you think there is other privacy information consumer should also be required to opt in, versus opt out. >> in general i think a framework for privacy which users have a sense of transparency, control and choice and a clear understanding of the trade-offs they need to make i think it's good for consumers and we support that. >> and speaking of privacy and transparency, i'm trying to understand the difference between a pale customer for the google suite versus the 3g may access gmail. so when it comes to data collection are the criteria in the rules the same if you're a google suite versus the gmail? >> google suite is a broader suite of products then gmail alone. we have very specific policies on gmail in general. we don't as a company we don't
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review gmail unless we have expressed constant from you. for instance investigating abuse during an account. there are many instances and we have clear policies. >> but what i'm asking you are the policies different? >> we don't distinguish between, for example we provide g suite for many educational facilities. >> do you collect it? >> g suite uses collector data and we store that for the users so they can access it. >> and no one in your company has access to it? >> we have policies that they cannot access it unless they have a specific consent from the user for specific intents. for example you may want to investigate fraudulent activity related to your account, we
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would ask your permission to do it. there may be a valid law enforcement requirement -- request which we would comply with. >> let me take you back to google search which my colleague george asked about earlier. i would say that the average person probably has never heard of google tech until it became available. >> we started this over 10 years ago when we started building for many of our products, we started an office in chicago with the expressed goal of providing users with this take-out capability. they were quite unique and we were working on that as a company but there is more effort we plan to do there. >> who has act s to it? >> this is for users, for example if you decide to stop your gmail account and you go without an email provider him of being able to take your gmail data with you and that is what is designed for.
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>> but no one within google or any other place can come into google take out and get your information? >> it is expressly designed for consumers to take their data with them. >> i understand what it is designed for, i'm asking who practically can get access to it. >> we have very strict limitations on access. >> if i were going to google take out, i'm not the only person who has access to my google take up? >> you are the only person who can take out your data but i'm just saying, you asked about internal systems, we have policies for internal can't go and look at data unless there is a set of circumstances which involved either conflict from the data. >> is it free? >> you data? >> so when a person takes their data out or they want to go through and clean up privacy and they delete, is it really deleted?
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or is it just hidden? >> depending on the service if you are terminating your account and you delete the data, it will take some time and we communicate that to propagate through our systems that we follow through on that. >> but it's deleted? it's not just hidden? >> is deleted. >> one last question. you said that your company embark on the initiative to register people to vote. how did you do that and who did you target and in what states? >> for example during registration, we highlight information about this, we do this across all of our users. and all indications are that it is you uniformly high across our user base. and it is with the expressed goal. >> how did you do that, did you send out links did you send out voter representations --
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registration forms? >> we put check where your polling places are and we give you the locations of the closest polling location in the opening times available to you. >> thank you mr. chairman, i yield. >> the floor recognizes the gentlewoman from washington. >> thank you for coming to testify. i am thrilled that you encourage people to vote i would love to see election day as a holiday. i have been deeply concerned for some time about employers mandating forced arbitration rather than allowing for people to pursue justice and horsing people into arbitration when have already experienced a violation of their basic rights. i think it's a deep injustice and exposes them to further victimization. we see that it in discourages people from coming forward. there are very successful companies in your field including sales force that have
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thrived while forgoing forced arbitration contracts and causes. and i think that we can all agree that the argument for limiting arbitration threatens innovation should be dismissed out of hand. eliminating forced arbitration has been a shared priority by my colleagues on this committee. we have all introduced legislation to end the practice. and i was very heartened to see that google ended forced arbitration but only in the context of sexual harassment. so, i hope you will agree with me that upholding people's fundamental rights to safety in the workplace and freedom from discrimination whether it is based on gender or sexual orientation or race or religion or any other metric really benefits all of us. so i wanted to point out that is particular critical for companies like google to take that moral leadership in this space because there are limitations for people to
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pursue systemwide change through class action lawsuits. i recognize this is not exclusive to google and it extends to many other employers, but since you're here before the committee today, which has jurisdiction over this issue i want to ask you if you will voluntarily commit to expanding the policy of ending forced arbitration or any violation of a person's rights. not just around sexual harassment, but for all of your employers and your contractors. >> congresswoman, thanks for the question, it is important come, our arbitration agreements don't require intercompany -- any confidential out 80 agreements. but as you have mentioned, for sexual harassment we have agreed that it should be up to the employees and we gave them a choice. we are looking into this further and i have gotten feedback from our employees so we are definitely viewing what we can do. and i'm looking forward to
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consulting and happy to think about more changes here. >> we would love to work with you and i think that this is really for people who are listing to this hearing who may not understand that basically when you sign a contract, and we saw with sexual harassment, some employees don't even know what they are signing away. they are signing away their ability to actually pursue claims in the justice system by going to forced arbitration. so, i think that this is very important. i think your statement about confidentiality is important, but that's not the issue here. it's not about the basic right of somebody to seek access to due process and justice in the courts. so what stage are you at in advancing the issue of ending forced arbitration both on the sexual-harassment side, but also in terms of the process for looking at it more broadly. how do we have a timeline, how do we engage with you to make sure that you endorse our legislation as we move forward in the next congress?
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>> we have already enacted the changes were forced arbitration as an option. we are definitely viewing a lot more we can do in this area and i am definitely happy to have my office follow-up. >> thank you. >> we are definitely committed to look into this more making the changes. >> thank you. the other issue i wanted to just raise on my last-minute is moderating hate speech. this is come up in a number of different ways and we appreciate the work that you have done, particularly with youtube. i know that we had alex jones in the room earlier but i think promoting conspiracy theories that are patently false and result in real harm is a problem. you agree with you and high commissioner of human rights commission that social media played a role for example in perpetuating genocide against the rohingya and what is google's responsibility to
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moderate hate speech on your platforms? >> it is our responsibility to moderate hate speech, and it is defined clearly as inciting violence toward persons or groups of people. this is something we need to take a very strict line on and we have stated our policies clearly and we are working hard to make our enforcement better and we have gotten a lot better. it is not enough so we are committed to doing more. >> we look forward to working with you on that and before you'll back mr. chairman just let me take a point of personal privilege i was born in the same state as you in india and i'm excited to see you leading a company and continuing to show that immigrants to this country contribute great value and despite some of the rhetoric we hear. thank you mr. pichai , i yield back. >> the chair recognizes the gentleman from pennsylvania, mr. rothfus.
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>> your company really should be held out as a success story of america's free enterprise system. google has products and service and the same with great power comes great responsibility and i think you realize that. these allegations of bias that have been set up, there are few stories of google engineers limiting the 2016 results. then they discussed potentially manipulating search results that would favor some political viewpoints in the future. those google engineers believe that they had the power to influence an election. using their power and surface can they tilt an election and the company wanted to? are your products that
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powerful? >> congressman, today we see users getting permission from a wide variety of sources. and while google is a big search, it's just one way that people get information from. >> do you think that your products are that powerful? >> that is not the way i think about them when they are building the products. we constantly worry about the areas where we are not doing well and are looking to do better. we definitely see a lot of innovation, not just within the us and globally around the world. and we do realize we are a large company and with that comes scrutiny and we seek to engage on that. >> you have testified against google's algorithms working in a nonpartisan way and that you are confident that google does not approach work with any political bias. the lufkin -- is dougal -- does
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google work to remove the biases? >> congressman i have indicated we need to welcome platforms from all sites. we clearly, there is a leaning, but laster was the first year and within california we also have employees globally. and i do see a wide variety of opinions. >> you said for us to review. who is the s? who is doing that review? >> it's a combination of our automated systems as well as manual reviewers. these are people who are part of a team. >> is a committee? how many people is that? >> we have committed to scale of our manual viewers to 10,000
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people. and so there are thousands of people working 24-7 looking at our policies. >> google has described it at the with these quick things don't be evil, do the right thing. i would like to discuss these ideals and light of the reports on china. the chinese government has caused concern around the globe and i recall the early days of june 1989 intending in square, there were reports of crackdowns on muslims, christians and mass incarcerations and human rights abuses. that should be a major concern for everyone around the world including your company. did google design a prototype for search engine that could be used in china to censor content? >> congressman, we have undertaken an internal effort.
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>> did you create a prototype? there was a report in the intercept that set the prototype for this censored search engine was designed. >> it is what search would look like, that would be explored. >> how many months was that project ongoing? >> we have had the project underway for a while in their are other projects that we undertaken we have never launched. >> how many people were working on it? >> the estimate on the number of engineers varied over time. at one point we have had 400 people working on it, is my understanding. >> i just wanted echo what my colleague said, i'm glad you are here in our country. you are a success story and i can just think of you sitting
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as a teenager in india thinking that, and this probably was never even on your radar. but you came to this country because this country had that promise out there. and i want to thank you for being here today and encourage you to continue collaborating with his committee. >> the gentleman's time has expired, the chair now recognizes the gentleman from florida. >> thank you so much mr. chairman and mr. pichai. thank you so much for being here and enduring all that we have heard and seen today. as you know, our google certainly has significant influence over the dissemination of implant information to the american people. you have the ability to mold and shape how we think, decisions we make, what we buy. but let me just remind you and others that america, with all
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of its greatness has enough problems. and we have to make sure that the gift of google is used, the service that you provide is a responsible one. in your own statement, you said that the american people have the ability to use technology to improve. so, that tells me google helps to solve problems, not create problems. my concern, specifically centers around the protection of the consumers. because google certainly would not be anything without the consumer so the protection of the data, the information, the level of service that you provide, and i know we have talked a lot today about data collection and how it is used, and how it's collected.
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and let me understand just with the chairman's questions, which i thought was a good opening for us. if a consumer tells you not to collect their data, then you do not collect the data, is that correct? >> that's right. >> okay, and how does google, or does google allow advertisers to target ads based on sensitive factors like race, ethnicity, religious affiliation? >> currently, we don't have those ones you mentioned. >> and what is your policy regarding predatory advertisements? >> we have strict policies against it and we respond to concerns there and we have undertaken significant changes on our platforms. we are committed to doing better. >> and since we do represent
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everybody poor communities as well as affluent communities, how do you make sure that the information that is received in at risk communities protects the consumer, if you will? >> we do engage with community organizations. we have our teams provide outreach and to make sure there isn't an abuse of a product or platform. and we do follow-up and engage and take action. >> and how do you do that again, please? >> for example, if there's a specific product where we get clear feedback that we have implemented the product and it has a bad impact on minority communities and we engage and make changes in our products or
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policies. >> so you get feedback. so do you initiate or do a checking, is that information coming back to you? or are you proactive in terms of looking for that type of oral -- vulnerabilities? >> i do think there is more that we can do in terms of being proactive and i'm happy to follow-up. but we are committing to do well. >> you talk quite a bit about working with law enforcement. i think you said maybe four or five times. i would like to hear more about some of the things you do with lauren workman to protect consumers as well. and protect our electoral process and things we should care about >> we do this across a wide variety of areas. for example when there were concerns expressed about election interference we look to law enforcement to guidance. areas like child safety we are very actively collaborating with law enforcement. broad, malware and depending on
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the area, we support them in their efforts, the opioid crisis is a good example. we are doing a lot with law enforcement. >> what you think is the law that's just main area where google could improve? >> i always think you know privacy is an area where we are sacrosanct and we have done a lot over the years. but it is constantly evolving and we are company needing to evolve and adapt to it. so i want to acknowledge that there is more to do and the days never done. and it's something we are committed to doing better. >> thank you mr. chairman, i yield back. >> the chair now recognizes the gentleman from texas, mr. gohmert for five minutes. >> i appreciate your being here.
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on both sides, we applaud great work. for example, steven spielberg, despite politics, he has provided my family a lot of enjoyment and entertainment. you and your colleagues at google have created an extraordinary vehicle for searching out things. it is fantastic. and as my friend across the aisle mr. lewis pointing out, the government is not supposed to interfere with people civil rights and you got a company a corporation like gould. my problem is when the government gives its immunity from lawsuits over to a private corporation that is the head of that corporation doesn't even realize that there is political bias one of -- run amok in his company and that is the
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problem. i don't want to see you overregulated, i don't want to see you regulated. i want to see others come up with brilliant ways as you and mr. bremen others did to create something that makes life easier. but a good example, you have a trusted flagger, you have indicated, called the southern poverty law center. the southern poverty law center really has stirred up more hate than about any other group i know. they stirred up one guy to the point that he went to the family research council and, i notice people, and they are christians. and they believe and i believe that christianity is really more based on love that about any other religion in history. god so loved the world that he gave his only son. and yet they stirred up hate
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against the family research center and a guy goes and shooting. you have, let's see june 18 of this year, southern poverty law center now says they have reached a settlement with an organization for falsely labeling them as anti-muslim hate group. they were wrong. now, you consider them a trusted flagger, yet they keep creating problems for people that are not haters. and in fact, they had to pay out $3.375 million. my problem is, when you put your moniker on them, a trusted flagger, why didn't you pay the
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3.375 dollars? that's my problem, you trust people that have stirred up a lot of hate. and another good example, and you are so surrounded by liberality that hates conservatism, that hates people that really love our constitution and the freedoms it has afforded people like you, that you don't even recognize it. it is like a blind man not even knowing what light looks like because you're surrounded by darkness. but if you look, let's see, a good example. after president trump one, your cofounder mr. brehm said, "most people are upstate and a lot of them saw the video, we saw how upset the top people at google were." and for you to say there is no political bias in google tells us you either are being dishonest, i don't want to
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think that, or you don't have a clue how politically biased google is. another example is wikipedia. we do a search and what comes up right there is the knowledge panel on the right and we hopefully will have a screenshot of that, we get wikipedia. my chief of staff went on, she tells me every night for two weeks and put proper, honest information on with proper annotations and wikipedia's liberal editors around the world would knock it out every day and instead put up a bunch of garbage like mark is facing. and like you they get a trusted spot and when wikipedia slanders or libel someone and you are the one that has trusted them above any other entity, you ought to be libel. you ought to be libel and splc is libel and you are to be libel when wikipedia demeans
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and uses their political bias. and i hope and encourage you to look around and notice you runoff conservatives, you embrace liberals and it's time google was actually not immune so that people can hold you accountable and get a little better objectivity. i see my time has run out i yield back. >> thank you mr. chairman. i appreciate your testimony here today and a number of these questions, i may be repeating some of this. i am still not clear on how many staff and who it is that establishes the parameters by which the algorithms are written. can you tell me about how many
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staffers there are and how that works? >> congressman today it's our search team, which works on the core of our search teams. and the lower thousand people, i would be happy to elaborate more. >> that's a close enough guess conceptually. and when you hire them, are they people hired from the outside or are they brought up internally? what's the typical path for the the roughly 1000-person search team? >> seniormost engineers on our search team tend to have been in the company for a very long time. >> so most of the time you will know them, and have worked with them. do you then go into their social media to try to determine what they might be doing on social media? >> normally, as a company we have allowed people to express themselves. what we make it clear how we
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build our product is done with great care and thought, focused on giving you the same information they are looking for. >> on this team of roughly 1000, they are the people that write the parameters by which those who write the algorithms right the algorithms. >> that's roughly correct, yes. >> so there isn't any look at what their private lives are even their public social media is not examined by the company and is anyone outside of google know who these 1000 people are? >> we don't examine their personal activities and there are some senior people and are in meetings and groups outside the in the community. >> and we are watching people who social media has not them out of pretty high positions varied almost every week there is one or more whose social media. this week a couple that i can
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think of just the last 24-48 hours. i am going to make this point and i believe i have made it with a number of the internet companies that have been sitting here at this table in the past. what we have is a situation here where there's a very strong conviction on the side of the aisle that the algorithms are written with a bias against conservatives. people on the other side don't agree with that because of course it benefits them. but what we don't know who are these 1000 people? and we don't know what their social media looks like, but we do know that the people that come from that county are about 80 percent supporters of hillary clinton if i listen to the gentle lady from california. so that would be building in bias if i know people from california and know their politics in california, and i think i do. so we have got to at least theoretically built in biases here that are not being examined. how would you expect that you can get to an objective result,
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what you said that, you know we build our products in a neutral way but that is a me that your product comes out neutral. so how would you expect to get to unbiased results with a built in formula that i have described and i don't think you object to were disagree with. >> congressman it's important question that the way we rank our situation is based on user feedback. >> i do understand how it's prioritized that way. but i made this point that if we don't know who the 1000 are, and we can't look at their social media, and we can't see the algorithms to understand the results of the work they're doing behind closed doors and yet the public believes it is an open forum where there's a balance exchange of open access to information. and of course, it's not. though i have said we either need to know who they are and look at their social media and if that doesn't solve this problem, the next step is,
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public investors publish the algorithms and if the next step doesn't work the amendment of section 230. now i am mr. gronert -- gomer, i don't want to censor anything. it looks like either where we are or the direction we're going and i would just finish up with this. i've got a 7-year-old granddaughter who picked up her phone before the election, and she is playing a little game, kind of game a kid will play an up on their pops a picture of her grandfather. i'm not going to stay into the record what kind of language was used around that picture of her grandfather, but i would ask you how does that show up on a 7-year-old iphone who is playing you kids gain? >> congressman iphone is made by a different company >> it might have been an android, it was a hand-me-down of some kind.
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>> i'm happy to follow up and there may be an application that might have been used that had a notification. but i'm happy to understand it better and clarified for you. >> thank you for your testimony and i yield back the balance of my time. mr. chairman? >> the chair now recognizes the gentleman from texas. >> we have already indicated we will take all questions in writing. >> i would appreciate if i could hear these three. >> all right, without objection. >> i thank you for the courtesy. there have been several points made and obviously algorithm has been mentioned over and over again. three questions.
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one, explaining how algorithm may play into someone's oppression, i think you're very clear. in addition, your clarification on china and engaging in any activities to censor those individuals and number three, the algorithms again, are not your products or may be proprietary over others. any explanation if you represented it to be not true or how that might be perceive how that happens. how algorithms may play a part in that. >> and the gentlewoman will submit those in writing so we can admit them to the record. >> i think the gentleman. >> the chair recognizes the gentleman from florida, mr. rutherford for five minutes. >> think you very much for your
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testimony today. i want to go back to the privacy policy and talk about some of those issues because i think it's very important for the american public. you mentioned the transparency in your policy, but when, i know your policy is 20 pages long, changes multiple times a year. i have to ask a couple of questions about the policy, because quite frankly i don't understand all of it. and that is the policy states that google's data collection applies when, "you use google service." and so most consumers with that means google search or google maps. my question is does the policy apply when it is just consumer context a double-click cookie? are you then, are they under
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that policy? >> today our product that is called google ad manager and in general when users contract our services we need their consent and we need to apply our privacy policy so we can offer them the full productions we can. so as part of that, i think if you're contracting with her at services, we do get your consent for a privacy policy. >> so that is written into the policy? and then secondly, if a consumer does not have a google account, they land on a webpage that has google adware again, is that the consumer using a google service? under the privacy policy. >> my understanding would be yes, or the application they
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are using. >> and then for and finally her privacy policies you collect voice and audio information when you use audio features. however, does this mean google assistant is recording our voices and conversations? how about when just using google voice? is that actually being recorded? >> today, if you invoke google voice by either using the microphone or use a okay google and issue a command we treated like a search query and record that activity. but we have a separate setting which as a user you can choose whether or not you want these to be stored or not. and you have the choice an option. >> you know, when it gets to transparency, i think when you realize you have these active, when i'm clicking and getting information, i think people
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understand that information is going out and they are giving permission. but see passive collection points you know, like android and bones. where they are picking up that information and user, i am not sure the usual -- user actually knows that. one of my questions is, we are agreeing to a privacy policy but we don't really know what information we are giving up, because there are other groups that you are contracting with in chrome who are collecting passive information. how do you address that, and how to make that transparent for the consumer? >> congressman we realize privacy policy alone is not
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enough. this is why we prompton give privacy checkups. >> right, right, so let me stop you there and ask you, is it possible for google to send me a printout of all the information that they have a collected on me in the last month and where i have been an what i have click? is all that information available for me? >> we do make it available to you very easily. >> so i would ask because we are running out of time, instead of me as a consumer or anyone as a consumer giving you the privacy right upfront, why don't you be more honest with me, tell me exactly what
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information is being collected, what information you want to share, and then allow me to decide how much of that information i would like to share as a consumer? >> congressman i agree with that sentiment, peak -- what we precisely do is we clearly detail the categories and you can see the information we have and you can turn it on or off. we need to do better. >> but there are areas where information is being collected even if i have the particular sites turned off, there is still information being collected through some of these other passive systems that you have contracted with. correct? >> we are pretty explicit about collection and even when you use a product like chrome or gmail or google home, we are very clear about the data we collect and reflected back to the user what we have on them.
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>> my time is out, but i would tell you this, i would much rather be giving permission after i know what information i'm giving up thank you very much again i do appreciate i yield back, thank you, mr. chairman. i will build upon what my colleague was talking about. using specific examples in june 2016, google changed its privacy policy to allow for combining the double-click information with personal, identifiable information. before this change the cookies that tracked people were not melded with other consumer information google that from searches or android phone use. it is my understanding when google purchased double-click, representations were made that google would keep the data separate.
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the point is here you have heard from many people concerned about the consumer and what the consumer knows. i understand there is a personal responsibility as a consumer to do my part to try to understand this. but it's also very complicated stuff. so, i want to point some positives that google is doing. in march, you had the online safety roadshow that came through alabama's second congressional school district will middle school. you are being a corporate citizen by trying to teach young people about how to be smart and safe on the internet and as a mother of a 13-year-old girl, i appreciate that very much. i think that is truly, a good example of what it means to be a corporate citizen that these young people can have the world in their hands. and recognize that all the positive things that can come from it, there are some dangers, as well. i would say i think what we
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would all benefit from is understanding as a corporate citizen what are you doing to educate the consumer about the privacy policies, you have heard my colleagues point to the fact that you have this 25 page privacy policy but it changes multiple times throughout the year or represents about double-click that change and so most of us don't have a way to understand this in a way to know that the data is being collected and i say that is how it is being used. i applaud you for the work you are doing to educate our young people but i would just ask that you could provide, used the word of all and adapt to come to policy, what are you doing to help educate your consumers on how they can be aware of when they click i
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accept on the privacy policy that they have a better understanding of how their data will be used. >> a good hundred -- a good question and for example we are sending email reminders for certain types of data that is being collected and asking you to do review your settings and that is the evolution we are doing and implementing, we are looking at combining settings where we can so it is easier for users to minimize the number of controls but we want to match it with users who have complex expectations to some of the devices to be private, they are okay with some of the other devices being used. we are trying to match expectations, users to tell us when they search for weather or restaurants if they want restaurants near their location and not tomorrow's. as a imagine if someone from alabama's searching they want information relevant to them so that is what we are trying to meet i agree with you that we need to supply -- simplify this
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even more and there is more work to do and there's a constant effort that we are taking. as i look to 2019 we will do more changes to make things work better and i will take this feedback into account. >> one example, my legislative assistant was showing me in the privacy policy where it is redlined to show what the change was. but it is not pointed out to the consumer when the policy is updated for whatever reason, with the exact changes. you have to search for it and find it yourself. if i have that correct, correct me if i'm wrong, but my understanding is you would have to scroll through the privacy policy to see where the changes were made. that's correct? >> i am happy to follow up on that. pointed to the updates and block post and we make it clear what the changes are. happy to follow up on that and get the specifics.
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>> the more you could streamline to the consumer how their personal information will be used, is being used, without the consumer having -- there is personal responsibility, as well but i think you are doing some good things in terms of educating folks about particularly with online safety roadshow, i think you could take some of the work you are doing there and hearing concerns today, look for ways to better educate the consumer moving forward. thank you, i yield back. >> thank you very much. a couple of quick follow-ups. i don't think anyone asked who makes the judgment call regarding content moderation at google? >> it depends on the area. if it is youtube we have very clear teams that are responsible for youtube content policy and -- >> are they identified as a
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possible for the customer to write to them and say here is a concern i have? >> we give clear channels for them to raise concerns back and clear avenues and we also have had people who are responsible for these platforms including content moderation appear here and i think we have consulted widely. >> i have a question about preloaded apps. do you have agreements with the company, amazon might have an app that they put on your platform, you have a data sharing agreement with them? do they get the information and you get the information generated by their app, as well? how does that work? >> we don't have any special agreements with respect to yeutter -- user data. >> if someone puts an app on
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your platform they do it with your permission? >> not necessarily, for example our device manufacturer can preload applications on android and it's up to them. >> if they operate on your system, you get the information as well as the app owner? >> information about what is happening with an application, there may be specific cases where they use it as diagnostic information for the answer depends on the content but in general, no. the relationship is between the user and app developer. >> do get an epic gathers information on a specific thing, that is not also coming to cool as well as to the developer? >> in a general sense, no. >> finally, as you can keep as a written answer because it's a lengthy answer i believe but
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i'm interested in knowing, you have had a lot of difficulties in europe of late. i am interested in knowing how your policy in europe differs from your policy of the united states. >> i am happy to have, it's an extensive topic and i am happy to follow up with that back to your office. >> we would appreciate that, we will give you some written questions that other members have provided. we will have more of our own and we would ask that you respond to those properly. >> definitely will. >> thank you, you have gone for about three and half hours and about what we predicted, isn't it? we thank you very much for your participation, this concludes today's hearing and without objection, all members will have five legislative days to submit written questions for the witness or additional materials for the record and without, this hearing is
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adjourned.
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tonight, on american history tv, programs about world war two, starting with nick mueller, interviewed about his forthcoming book, everything we have. which commemorates 75th anniversary of d-day with personal stories from the people involved. than historians discuss the military strategies of japan and the u.s., australian coalition in the pacific from 1943-1945. he focuses on japan's naval operations and mr. dean highlights the command and senior staff of general douglas macarthur. after that, they talk about the book a lower of battle, a history of how wars have been one back -- won and lost.
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leader, leading troops into battle, american history tv, begins now on c-span 3. national were to museum president and ceo nick mueller talks about his new book, everything we have, d-day june 6, 1944. which commemorates the upcoming 75th anniversary by sharing personal stories of the people involved. this one-hour program was part of a conference hosted by the national were to museum in new orleans. >> we begin with a special conversation between the museums founding president nick mueller, one of the long serving advisors and friends. of the university of new orleans. as we know, the 75th anniversary of d-day is coming up next year . dr. mueller has written a book due in march that incorporates some of the museums best and least known

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