The separation of concerns seems very thin
Other posters have mentioned this, but I'll pile in. If some company like Google has a wide-ranging amount of information about my interests, my communications and my movements, it's not much consolation to me that these private companies don't want to abuse that power where the state government might. The reason is that the government has the power to demand that information from the company (or to take it without their knowledge) for the sake of whatever it is the government might want to investigate me over.
As we've seen with the Snowden releases in the US in particular, the very act of the government tapping corporate intelligence stores can be contrived to occur in such a way that almost no one outside the channels that make it possible knows about it, and anyone involved who would like to make it public is under threat of severe criminal prosecution should they try.
It's fine and well that our governments have not not, seemingly and so far, meaningfully the abused civil rights of their citizens using the information they now have access to. That is not a sufficient defense of the practice. The reason democratic nations have historically sought to reign in the knowledge freely available to a government's apparatus about the people governed is to limit the *possibility* of government abuse.
Quite simply, if a system that can be abused is left in place long enough, two things happen. One is that many of the governed people become inured to it, assuming it's OK because "it's always been like that". The other thing, which often comes only after the first is established, is that someone *does* abuse the system. It's human nature - either someone eventually won't be able to resist committing abuse, or someone will seek a position of power *specifically* because they recognize the potential for abuse they can execute.
As a species, we humans like to live under the conceit that conditions we enjoy now will persist into the future without bound - that because no historically decent government will ever change to be otherwise. I think this is imminently foolish.
I'm hardly a doom-sayer, but it's hardly impossible for me to imagine future situations of civil disorder, most believably due to some natural disaster or resource constraint (water, power, food, etc.), where governments of what are today democratic and free societies might resort to more totalitarian means simply to try and keep things under control. (Martial law.) In situations like this I believe you very much would not want to mix in such abuse-prone tools such as a way to track basically everyone all the time (pervasive cameras, facial recognition, cell phones, centrally managed driverless cars, etc.) It's unwise to trust leaders with such tools to do the right thing in situations where civil rights are so specifically curtailed History does not show good precedent.
On that note, one thing I'll disagree with in the original article is the notion that we owe Orwell for the caution of people my generation and older. While 1984 certainly stood out for some time and doubtless influenced many readers, for cautious people I know it is real, historical events that serve as more sobering reminders of what abusive governments can do with the power of extensive information about the people they govern. The examples set by the Soviet communist party, Nazi Germany, and the Red Scare in the US are much more frightening to me than any fiction. Imagine those regimes or movements with access to the information they could gain on their citizens today, especially if those citizens were raised to use the internet with limited caution.
Hope for the best, but plan for the worst. Enabling pervasive surveillance is unwise, even if it is not the government who directly surveils us..