Google’s chief executive, Sundar Pichai, is to testify before Congress for the first time this week, following in the footsteps of other internet firms including Facebook and Twitter.
He faces questioning on Wednesday before the House judiciary committee, in an event observers have suggested is likely to be taken as an occasion to put Google on the hot seat.
The testimony is to be followed on Thursday by a meeting at the White House that Pichai is scheduled to attend along with other technology chiefs.
Wednesday’s grilling comes as US politicians are increasingly leaning in favour of enacting the US’ first federal data privacy law, and in an atmosphere of hostility against Google by US President Trump.
Google has made efforts to avoid being seen in the same light as other internet media companies, and in September was represented by an empty chair after Pichai refused to testify before the Senate intelligence committee along with Jack Dorsey, chief executive of, Twitter, and Sheryl Sandberg, chief operating officer of Facebook.
Pichai reportedly agreed in principle to this week’s appearance in a private meeting with politicians that followed the September hearing.