He was speaking here at WEF 2020, and added that privacy cannot be a luxury good and it has to be safeguarded for everyone.
He said: "We need a free and open internet for all, while data sovereignty is important for every country and that needs to be taken into account in any data protection framework in any part of the world. Internet is actually an export product. Even in India, if we talk about YouTube, a video created by an Indian gets audience from across the world. That's the beauty of digital economy."
Pichai is also CEO of Alphabet; he said he has always been a technology optimist, having experienced firsthand the benefits new technology brought to his own life.
He added: "Growing up, I had to wait for either a telephone or a television and each time these things came to my home I realised what an important role technology plays in our lives. More recently, we have seen how AI can play a great role, including for doctors and weather forecasts."
Pichai added he is clear-eyed about the risks of technology, but the risk of AI is failing to work on it, because it can affect billions of people.