Thank you for trusting your question to JA today. I am a licensed attorney with over a decade of law practice and over 20 years of experience in the legal field. I’m happy to be of assistance.
Unfortunately, he is correct. The rule concerning this issue is not very proactive, instead relying on reactive responses. You can't preemptively stop them from doing so. You can't opt out. All you can do is rely on the fact (and I know this doesn't give you much security) that if the employer's failure to more fully secure the information results in a release, they subject themselves to legal liability.
This the problem with law though. It is reactive and until something has happened, you have no avenue to change this issue. There is no forum to take a preemptive action, because a court can only hear cases that are "ripe."
I wish I could you differently here, but your choices are to either continue to work within this system or seek employment elsewhere.
If you have any further questions, please let me know. I invite follow up questions, so use REPLY for those. If you have no further questions then good luck going forward and please do not forget to rate my service with a top-three rating so that I receive credit for working with you today. Please rate me based on my service and not on your satisfaction with the law, which I am not in control of and I am just reporting to you. Also, feel free to request me in the future, if you have questions concerning a different matter.