BBC media editor Amol Rajan criticised over Sundar Pichai interview

BBC media editor Amol Rajan criticised over Sundar Pichai interview
BBC media editor Amol Rajan criticised over Sundar Pichai interview

The BBC was today accused of airing a 'misleading and inaccurate' interview by media editor Amol Rajan with Google chief executive Sundar Pichai and failing to challenge his claim to want a 'free and open internet'.

The search giant is facing criticism over its controversial next generation digital advertising systems that competition watchdogs fear will stifle diversity of opinion on the internet and deny independent news publishers fair returns.

Mr Rajan's interview on the News At Ten on Monday was criticised by Marketers for an Open Web - a group of online publishers, advertisers, tech and data firms - which said he did not challenge Mr Pichai's claim to 'stand up' for a free and open internet.

Tim Cowen of Preiskel and Co, legal advisor to MOW, told MailOnline today: 'Rajan's interview was misleading and inaccurate.

'Google claimed to be a champion of the Open Web when it is building a 'walled garden', trying to enclose the web to make even bigger profits.'

Insurance Loans Mortgage Attorney Credit Lawyer

Google is planning to replace so-called third party cookies with a new 'Privacy Sandbox' next year, which will group users together according to their interests.

Analytics data already shows that the BBC website is consistently favoured in Google search results, followed closely by The Guardian website.

The Sandbox would mean that instead of traditional third-party cookies, which see advertisers track individuals across sites they visit, users will be split into cohorts.

Britain's Competition and Markets Authority has warned that the system could stifle competition among independent publishers.

Rather than a person's browser history being sent to a location, their own computer will work out what they like and assign them to a group with similar interests.

Online ads will still be personalised under the system, but Google claims it will afford users greater privacy. However, rivals and regulators worry that the move could strengthen Google's stranglehold on the market for online advertising.  

MOW labelled the interview as a 'piece of corporate advertising' and 'unbalanced' reporting, saying that the BBC had run a 'Ten O'Clock News advert for Google'.

The clips were taken from an hour-long chat shown beforehand on BBC Two, which the corporation had billed as a 'hard-hitting and personally revealing encounter'. 

BBC media editor Amol Rajan (pictured) spoke to Mr Pichai at his Silicon Valley headquarters

BBC media editor Amol Rajan (pictured) spoke to Mr Pichai at his Silicon Valley headquarters

Insurance Loans Mortgage Attorney Credit Lawyer

They were introduced 20 minutes into the News At Ten by presenter Sophie Raworth, who said: 'The boss of the search engine Google says the model of a free and open internet is under attack. 

'Sundar Pichai says many countries are restricting the flow of information and the western model free from political censorship is often taken for granted.' 

Full transcript of BBC News At Ten broadcast 

BBC News at Ten - July 12, 2021

Sophie Raworth: 'The boss of the search engine Google says the model of a free and open internet is under attack. Sundar Pichai says many countries are restricting the flow of information and the western model free from political censorship is often taken for granted. Google is under huge pressure from regulators around the world for its approach to privacy, data and tax. Our media editor Amol Rajan reports from Silicon Valley in California.'

Amol Rajan (voiceover): 'For the past two decades one Californian company more than any other has designed and built the internet with a dominance in digital advertising. Now Google is journeying into the unknown with two big bets. Unimaginably powerful quantum computers - and, above all, artificial intelligence.'

Sundar Pichai: 'I viewed it as the most profound technology that humanity will ever develop and work on. And we have to make sure we do it in a way that we can harness it to society's benefit.'

AR: 'Sundar Pichai is the man leading Google into this new era.'

SP: 'Be it healthcare, be it education, be it how we manufacture things and how we consume information. If we think about fire or electricity or the internet - it's like that, but I think even more profound.'

AR (voiceover): 'Born of humble roots in Tamal Nardu in South East India, Sundar Pichai trained as an engineer. He moved to the US to pursue his dream and joined Google's founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin when the company was just six years old in 2004. Now he's the boss of both Google and its parent company Alphabet, which includes YouTube. And he faces unrelenting scrutiny - from US lawmakers to most recently at the G7 and G20 summits where tax was in focus.'

AM: 'Historically, has Google paid enough tax in the right places?'

SP: 'We're one of the world's largest taxpayers. If you look at on an average over the past decade we have paid over 20 per cent in taxes. We do pay the majority of our share of taxes in the US, where we originate and where our products are developed. I think there are good conversations and we support the global OECD conversations figuring out what is the right way to allocate taxes, and this is beyond a single company to solve.'

AR: 'You've two teenagers, I understand. What's your policy on screen time for kids?'

SP: 'I think this generation needs to learn to adapt to technology. It's going to be a big part of their lives. So I've encouraged them to develop boundaries on their own. But I've approached it as a journey of personal responsibility.'

AR: 'How worried are you that today the internet seems to be splitting into different domains, where we have a kind of Californian internet, and increasingly a Chinese one - and the Chinese one might be in the ascendant.'

SP: 'The free and open internet has been a tremendous force for good and I think we take it for granted a bit. But I do think the model is being attacked and so I think it is something we take for granted. But I hope we can stand up, particularly in countries with strong democratic traditions and values.'

AR (voiceover): 'Sundar Pichai is clear. It is up to democracies as much as any tech giant to shape our digital futures. Amol Rajan, BBC News, in Silicon Valley.'

 

Advertisement

Asked by Mr Rajan about developments in quantum computing and artificial intelligence, Mr Pichai said: 'I viewed it as the most profound technology that humanity will ever develop and work on. And we have to make sure we do it in a way that we can harness it to society's benefit.

'Be it healthcare, be it education, be it how we manufacture things. How we consume information. If we think about fire or electricity or the internet. It's like that but even more profound...'

Mr Rajan continued: 'How worried are you that today the internet seems to be splitting into different domains, where we have a kind of Californian internet, and increasingly a Chinese one - and the Chinese

read more from dailymail.....

PREV Australia's men's hockey team lose battle for gold by the barest of margins at ...
NEXT Step-father, 39, accused of murdering Logan Mwangi, five, who was found dead in ...