How to watch Google CEO’s congressional hearing

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Google CEO Sundar Pichai.


James Martin/CNET

Google CEO Sundar Pichai is finally taking the hot seat.

Pichai is scheduled to testify before the House Judiciary Committee in Washington, DC, on Wednesday at 7 a.m PT. We’ll be livestreaming the entire session, and you can watch it here. However, Pichai’s testimony before the panel may be postponed due to the state funeral for former president George H.W. Bush on Wednesday.

The title for the hearing is “Transparency and Accountability: Examining Google and its Data Collection, Use and Filtering Practices,” and lawmakers will question Pichai on allegations of bias against conservatives on the company’s platforms.

“Online technology is now an integral part of most Americans’ modern lifestyle,” House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, a Republican from Virginia, said in a statement. “However, the technology behind online services like social media and Internet search engines can also be used to suppress particular viewpoints and manipulate public opinion.”

It’ll be Pichai’s first congressional hearing. In September, the search giant’s CEO skipped a high-profile tech hearing that included Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey. Next to Sandberg and Dorsey was an empty chair and a name tag that said “Google.” Both Pichai and Larry Page, CEO of Google parent Alphabet, were invited, but neither showed up. Their absence drew widespread anger from lawmakers.

Aside from conservative bias, lawmakers will likely ask Pichai about Project Dragonfly, an effort to build a censored search engine for China. Lawmakers are also expected to press Google on data collection, including a bug that left users’ personal information exposed on its Google Plus social network for two years. After the bug was disclosed, Google announced it would shut down the social network in August.

First published Dec. 2, 5 a.m. PT.
Update, 10:25 a.m.: Adds possibility of postponement.

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