Facebook Inc. (FB) needs to be regulated “more tightly” by lawmakers and shouldn't be trusted to police itself, a former operations manager responsible for the social network’s privacy efforts has said.

In an op-ed for The New York Times, Sandy Parakilas claimed that his former employer would rather collect data from its users than protect them from abuse. Parakilas, who made the comments as Congress considers whether to entrust Facebook with the task of reporting hate speech on its website, added that the social network "has no incentive to police the collection or use of… data” because its success is built on selling advertising. 

Instead of giving more powers to Facebook, he urged lawmakers to regulate the social network “more tightly,” or break it up so that no single entity controls all its data. (See also: Facebook to Double Security Staff by the End of Next Year.)

“I led Facebook's efforts to fix privacy problems on its developer platform in advance of its 2012 initial public offering. What I saw from the inside was a company that prioritized data collection from its users over protecting them from abuse," Parakilas, who worked for the social network in 2011 and 2012, wrote. "The fact that Facebook prioritized data collection over user protection and regulatory compliance is precisely what made it so attractive [to advertisers]," he added.

Rocketing advertising revenues have helped to push Facebook’s shares up more than 50 percent this year. In the third-quarter, the company’s ad sales rose 49 percent to $10.1 billion, making up 98 percent of total revenues. (See also: Facebook Q3 Ad Revenues Grow Despite Russia Episode.)

“Facebook knows what you look like, your location, who your friends are, your interests, if you’re in a relationship or not, and what other pages you look at on the web,” wrote Parakilas. “This data allows advertisers to target the more than one billion Facebook visitors a day. It’s no wonder the company has ballooned in size to a $500 billion behemoth in the five years since its IPO.”

Parakilas added that Facebook only protects user data "when negative press or regulators are involved." It does this, he claimed, to stop negative stories from damaging the company’s reputation.

“When I was at Facebook, the typical reaction I recall looked like this: try to put any negative press coverage to bed as quickly as possible, with no sincere efforts to put safeguards in place or to identify and stop abusive developers,” he wrote. “When I proposed a deeper audit of developers’ use of Facebook’s data, one executive asked me, “Do you really want to see what you’ll find?”

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