This is mostly a bullshit article, but only because a LOT of economists don't know what to do with phenomena that don't really have very much ECONOMICS.
The data, like IDEAS, or even reproducible art, is a LOUSY commodity. In general, no matter the efforts to maintain privacy, data is a quasi public good. When you post on facebook, you are giving your conversation to the world without charge. Even if you put up a software gate, anyone inside the gate, and skilled hackers outside, can copy it virtually for free.
The business model of Google and FAcebook, indeed any web services organization, is existentially enhanced by profiling its users. That's reality. On the other hand they have an incentive to TRY and protect conversations from EXTERNAL intrusion, since that would tend to lose users. But neither incentive can change the inherent nature of information -- it quickly either disappears altogether, or returns as a public good. There is not much "economics" theory of public goods beyond identifying them.
The Facebook Trials: It's Not "Our" Data
-- via my feedly newsfeed