Today the House Judiciary Committee is meeting about the power Google wields over the internet. The company spent $18 million lobbying politicians in 2017 which makes them the highest spenders of lobbying power. Now there are concerns their power is out of control.
There are growing concerns on Capitol Hill about the spread of information on the popular search engine Google.
“Google is able to collect an amount of information about its users that would even make the NSA blush,” said Representative Bob Goodlatte.
During a House Judiciary Committee hearing Congressman Bob Goodlatte raised concerns about consumer privacy and the massive amount of data Google collects.
“Is it true that the android operating system sends information to Google every few minutes detailing the exact location of a smart phone within a few feet, the speed of movement of the phone,” said Goodlatte.
Google’s CEO Sundar Pichai says different apps collect various details based on privacy settings. But overall Pichai says the company’s mission is to protect users.
“We’ve invested an enormous amount of work over the years to bring choice, transparency and control to our users,” said Pichai.
Democrats and Republicans also worry about the role social media played in the 2016 elections. Officials want to make sure measures are in place to prevent political bias.
“Right now if you Google the word ‘idiot’ under images, a picture of Donald Trump comes up,” said Representative Lofgren.
Members from both parties want assurance Google employees aren’t manipulating algorithms and spreading misinformation.
“It is not possible for an individual employee or groups of employees to manipulate our search results,” said Pichai.
Lawmakers are trying to figure out what federal regulations for tech companies should look like to ensure transparency and increase accountability.