This is like saying "you were hit by a car but we left you to bleed to death by the side of the road because you didn't express your preference to be scooped up and taken to hospital"
When we're talking about what someone else's computer internally does with the information you choose to send to it, they liter-- uh -- analogously do have the right (and more importantly: the POWER, even if you disagree about the right) to get away with away with the attitude that you just described. If it helps, think of them as Powerful Assholes Who Have The Law On Their Side.
Sure, PAWHTLOTS are going to let most people bleed to death. The weird strange thing that happened, though, is that while they're all always free to let everyone bleed to death (whether they want to go to the hospital or not), a few of the
Microsoft came out with a medical bracelet, where the "I'd rather go to the hospital" and "I don't care" part was smudged, so that people trying to read the card can't tell the difference.
If you are trying to read such a bracelet, I think you're going to say "well, they clearly don't say they'd prefer to die" and I think you're going to take that person to the hospital. But what do you predict an evil-yet-honorable PAWHTLOTS will do?
The people who invented the DNT medical bracelet thought about that last question and were very explicit that people who make bracelets should use care in making sure the bracelets don't display ambiguous information, but Microsoft blew it.
Look at it another way: we all want this bullshit to be opt-in. But we send information to trackers, where they get to decide how it works. And they want it to be opt-out. It's their computer, so they win, period. If we work within opt-out, some of us can get some of what we want. If we defy it, then we haven't opted out.
This, BTW, is half of the tracking issue. The other half of the issue is that we leak so much damn information, which is what has put so much power into the adversaries hands. And FWIW, this actual Firefox story is about that. So there's at least something to be cheerful about. I prefer technical means to dealing with the problem, but DNT was a brilliant social prong of the action too, and MS has spoiled it.