Tech giants have found themselves under more scrutiny than ever before in recent months, as concerns over possible the privacy of user data as well as worries over manipulating search results continue to grow.
While companies like Facebook have had longstanding issues regarding how they used their customer’s data, not much has materialized from these scandals. However, President Trump just made a major statement today regarding Google, going after the California-based tech giant.
Tuesday morning saw a series of tweets from the President where he spoke about Google’s CEO Sundar Pichai. Trump went on to say that the chief executive had visited the Oval Office and was “working very hard to explain how much he liked me, what a great job the Administration is doing, that Google was not involved with China’s military, that they didn’t help Crooked Hillary over me in the 2016 Election, and that they are NOT planning to illegally subvert the 2020 Election despite all that has been said to the contrary.” However, he went on to add that “It all sounded good until I watched Kevin Cernekee, a Google engineer, say terrible things about what they did in 2016…we are watching Google very closely!”
A Google spokesperson went on to denounce the statements made by the former employee, denying all of the claims he made in his statement and stating that Cernekee was fired for multiple, legitimate infractions rather than his claim that he’s a whistle-blower outing the company for its anti-conservative bias.
Ever since winning the election in 2016, Pichai and other tech leaders have frequently visited the White House to meet with the President. However, recent leaked videos from investigative journalist groups went on to show Google employees talking about manipulating search results in a highly biased manner.
There already are a number of growing voices in Congress calling for breaking the company up on antitrust laws, with the issue seeming to draw support from both sides of the political aisle.
Shares of Google didn’t really change much in response to the news, rising up around 1.4 percent today over the course of the trading day. Shares of the tech giant rose significantly over the first quarter of 2019 but has since then given back a large portion of those gains.