HD wallets create a series of addresses, and then when one address has received an input it will give you a new address that hasn't received inputs yet
So in the idea of you sending yourself bitcoin from an exchange, and having different addresses all the time on the exchange, and different addresses in your wallets, then an observer wouldn't be able to track the sum of all your funds.
But isn't this all undermined when you move a large amount of bitcoin and the transaction combines bitcoin from all of the addresses in that wallet?
How is that part avoided while retaining the ability to realistically send funds quickly and conveniently? I understand that it is possible to form a transaction to only use a certain address for sending, but ultimately there is still a third party with one address that I want to send bitcoin to. So I will have to use several of my addresses to get the appropriate balance.
This seems to completely undo my privacy. Not necessarily from blockchain analysis but by having records of a single address (such as from the exchange).
For instance, lets say an exchange gave over the user names to a government. The government then looks at all the addresses that user sent bitcoin to from the exchange. Then they simply look in the blockchain for that address and look to see where it was used again to combine bitcoin with other addresses, as this reveals that one person had the private keys to all those addresses used. Privacy undermined.
Solution? I can imagine a scenario where I could do one transaction at a time back to a different exchange, generating new addresses in my exchange wallet. Cumbersome. But for something like a bitpay payment, I don't see how this is practical, unless third parties also let me choose how many addresses they would generate for me.