"We want to simplify it," Pichai The New York Times, Pichai highlighted some of those efforts, calling privacy "one of the most important topics of our time."during a back-and-forth on a number of privacy concerns. In an opinion piece Tuesday in
Pichai acknowledged that having access to our data makes Google's services run better, but that users -- all users -- should still expect their privacy to be protected without having to pay extra for the privilege.
"Privacy cannot be a luxury good offered only to people who can afford to buy premium products and services," he wrote. "Privacy must be equally available to everyone in the world."
Earlier in the day, Pichai was on stage at, where the company unveiled a wide range of new products and updated services, including the phone, , its and software, and its efforts.
Pichai's op-ed piece comes amid turmoil in the tech community about how consumers' data is used, sold and protected. Google has faced questions about the, the from and the potential for privacy regulations.
To try to answer some of those questions, Pichai explained how Google uses anonymized data to make its products more helpful. He also said that the targeted ads served to users are based on activities such as past search results and not personal data found in apps such as Gmail or Docs.
While reviewing some of the privacy protection tools Google has offered over the years, Pichai touted new features the company introduced last week, including phones.and two-factor authentication for Android-based
He also touted the work Google is doing with artificial intelligence to protect users' privacy -- specifically with a feature calledthat studies and learns from the data on your device but only sends the lesson learned to developers, not the raw data.
The company has drawn blowback for its AI operations, including a March backlash over its AI ethics board. Google disbanded the board after only a week.
"In the future, AI will provide even more ways to make products more helpful with less data," he wrote.
In his conclusion, Pichai brought up a touchy subject in the tech community: legislation. Members of Congress have shown interest in governing consumer privacy, and Pichai said Google supports the US adopting privacy legislation similar to the European Union's General Data Protection Regulation.
"Legislation will help us work toward ensuring that privacy protections are available to more people around the world."