Facebook is no stranger to criticism regarding its privacy practices. However, the harshest critiques usually come from outside advocates — not the company’s former privacy manager. Yet that’s exactly what happened this week when Sandy Parakilas wrote a harsh takedown of his former employer in The New York Times opinion section.
Parakilas advocated for government regulation of Facebook because, according to him, the company isn’t capable of truly regulating itself.
“What I saw from the inside was a company that prioritized data collection from its users over protecting them from abuse,” he wrote.
According to the ex-Facebook employee, the company only cares about user privacy when it receives negative press. Parakilas also believes the site has no financial incentive to guard users’ privacy when it makes so much money from targeted advertising.
“This makes for a dangerous mix: a company that reaches most of the country every day and has the most detailed set of personal data ever assembled, but has no incentive to prevent abuse,” Parakilas wrote. “Facebook needs to be regulated more tightly, or broken up so that no single entity controls all of its data.”
This isn’t exactly news to privacy-concerned users, but it’s still eye-opening to hear such stinging criticism from the company’s former privacy manager himself.