Google is a massive company that does a lot of things. Because of that, it is in the spotlight for a lot of issues, and one that continues to come up is privacy. In a recent interview, Google’s CEO discussed how the company intends to keep improving privacy, as well as several other matters.
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Nikkei Asian Review recently spoke to Pichai regarding the company’s struggles with being considered a monopoly. Just recently in Europe, Google was hit with the largest anti-trust fine in its history due to monopolistic practices with Google Shopping. The company quickly made moves to fix this “problem,” and Pichai’s comments mirror those actions.
We are one of the most scrutinized companies in the world, and we understand that. I’ve always felt it’s appropriate, and we are happy to be scrutinized, because we want to be held to a high standard and do well by that standard.
Pichai also spoke about privacy with the outlet, a growing concern for users of the company’s various services. Google controls a massive portion of the search industry and its advertising services follow users throughout most of the web. The company gets a ton of data from these various sources, and Google certainly does use it.
However, Pichai says that “data belongs to the user,” and Google is simply the “steward of it.” He also says that Google’s users accept these privacy concerns “because they trust us.” In further comments, he suggests that Google is going to continue improving privacy protection through the use of AI saying that “we never feel we are done.”
In the interview, Pichai goes on to talk about its activity in Asia, specifically in China where the company has been mostly absent for the better part of the decade.
We have a lot of employees in China today. We help many Chinese companies expand globally by providing advertising. I think we are committed to doing more.
When asked about a potential return for Google Search in China, he didn’t give any indication when or if that was in the works.
China is not in the context of a specific product. [We are] taking a long-term approach of how we can do more there. We comply with the local laws and regulations of the country. [We] will figure out a thoughtful way to engage, at the right time.
Lastly, Pichai spoke about the company’s recent deal with HTC, specifically regarding how it differs from the company’s previous deal with Motorola. He says that the Motorola acquisition was done “as part of projects in which we were working together,” and that the intellectual property from the deal eventually helped lead to the current hardware division we see at Google today.
On the surface [the deal] may look similar, but it’s very different in the details. [We] will talk about it at the right point in time.