You know what else respects users privacy, it's cheaper than newsletters for the content owner, and it's so anonymous you don't even need an e-mail address to start using it? RSS feeds.
And please, don't just tell me that RSS feeds are anachronistic and that most users are not interested in RSS feeds anymore. They are not interested because a lot of alternatives have been gone. There was native support for RSS in Internet Explorer, older versions of Firefox and MacOS X, no downloads required.
Why can't just Apple News or the Google App have a prominent button that says "hey, do you want to add your favourite sites here to see recent updates about stuff you actually like, instead of this algorithmically curated list of news we _think_ you _might_ like?", apart of "we drive money by controlling the feeds"?