Google CEO faces first Capitol Hill grilling amid string of controversies

Google CEO Sundar Pichai will testify on Capitol Hill for the first time next week, as the search giant makes headlines for a string of recent controversial incidents.

The hearing is scheduled for Dec. 5, before the House Judiciary Committee. It is called “Transparency & Accountability: Examining Google and its Data Collection, Use and Filtering Practices.” Google executives opted not to attend a tech-focused hearing earlier this year, drawing intense scrutiny from lawmakers.

The committee says next week’s hearing will examine “potential bias” at Google and the need for greater transparency where its filtering practices are concerned.

Many conservatives, including Republican lawmakers, are concerned Google’s search feature has obscured search results for right-leaning publications.

President Trump has also weighed in, saying the search giant features negative stories about himself and his administration. He has also named Google among the companies his administration is looking into over anti-trust concerns.

This week, employees at the company called for the company to end an initiative called Project Dragonfly, which is a plan to launch a censored version of its search engine in China.

Employees also protested the company’s involvement with the U.S. military, where concerns over how its technologies were being used by the Defense Department contributed to the company’s decision to pull its bid for a $10 billion cloud contract.

Meanwhile, workers have also questioned Google’s handling of sexual harassment claims, after reports surfaced that the search giant protected multiple executives accused of misconduct.

A technical glitch on the company’s Google+ platform also exposed the names and emails of hundreds of thousands of users, causing it to shutter the platform.

Executives from Facebook and Twitter testified before Capitol Hill earlier this year, which executives from Google skipped.