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Home / Tips and Tricks / Your Smart TV keeps track of what you see. To change the privacy settings

Your Smart TV keeps track of what you see. To change the privacy settings



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Smart TV sets are great, but their privacy settings may need some work.


Geoffrey Morrison / CNET

So you've just received a new Smart TV or maybe a Roku or Fire TV ($ 35 at Amazon) over the Black Friday weekend or another holiday sale. Congratulation! Whether it's a discounted bouncer or a chic new OLED Christmas time is a great time to upgrade your big screen.

One thing you should consider with any new TV, just like a phone or smart home device, is how you handle your privacy. In many ways, you will look back on the content you see on the big screen. While most modern televisions do not track you with physical cameras, their Smart TV software platforms often track what you do behind the scenes .

From Amazon and Roku to Samsung, LG and Vizio, all major smart platforms and televisions capture your viewing data. Software and hardware manufacturers are thus "improving" their product offering by, for example, adapting show recommendations and the ads they show. The ability to run ads may be frustrating and help reduce the cost of buying a new TV or streaming stick.

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A tracking tool is called Automatic content detection. This is a software that recognizes the images on your TV. ACR works regardless of whether the images are transmitted via an app or an HDMI port such as a cable box, Xbox or PlayStation. The good news is that you can turn it off.

To find out how this works, we examined all the Smart TV systems of the major TV makers of 2019, as well as dedicated streamers from Amazon, Roku and Nvidia (which use Google). Here's what we found and what you can do about it. Just click on the following link to jump to your device.

Which TV is the easiest way to control your privacy? Roku

  06-privacy policy-user-agreements-tvs-2019-cnet "data-original =" https://cnet4.cbsistatic.com/img/MPduv2ZbvyEfW0JPMbHF1SRDjg0=/2019/12/05/efe8861c-d504-4047-9f16- 655bed02d962 / 06-privacy policy-user-agreements-tvs-2019-cnet.jpg

Roku's privacy policy is the best we have found.


Sarah Tew / CNET

Of all the TVs and streamers we've seen, Roku has the easiest way to disable the data collection display. In the menus, the terms of use are explained in plain language, and the privacy controls are easy to find: In the menu "Settings" there is a separate section "Privacy", which consists of three simple fields.

The worst operator in our tests was Vizio. The privacy controls were so complicated that in our initial search for hiring we had to reset our TV to factory settings to make sure the right things were turned off.

These two represent the extremes of the systems we tested. Below is all the information and step-by-step instructions on how to take control of your data.

Amazon Fire TV

  13-Privacy Policy-User Agreement-tvs-2019-cnet "data-original =" https://cnet4.cbsistatic.com/img/SLySl8XBdAqJ_5KIpbta3j79gyY=/2019/ 12/05 / 6bb3f712-d9b3-40b5-b67f-29a8b873f2f5 / 13-privacy policy-user-agreements-tvs-2019-cnet.jpg

Amazon uses data to operate, improve, and troubleshoot devices, as well as "evaluate customer engagement, identify potential quality issues, analyze our business, and adapt marketing offerings, including ads." The exact data collected varies by apps and services.

This way you can regain control. All settings can be found at Settings then Settings and then Privacy Settings .

  • Select Device Usage Data and set this up.
  • Go to App Usage Data and disable this setting.
  • Select Internet Based Ads and disable this setting.
  • On some Fire TV sets TVs Amazon also collects data from what you see with an antenna. Search for these TVs Radio Data and turn them off.

Google Android TV

Google has a privacy policy for all of its products that list the data collected for the purpose of selling ads or recommending other content, such as YouTube videos.

The data collected includes terms you search for, videos you watch, views and interactions with content and ads, voice and audio information when you use audio features, buying activity, people you communicate with or share content with, activities with third-party providers. Party pages and apps that use our services.

Google states that Android TV as a platform does not perform ACR or monitor what particular content users view.

How to control data on an Android TV device such as the Nvidia Shield we tested .

  • Go to Settings Scroll to a section labeled Personal Click Usage and Diagnostics and make sure that the tab is disabled ,
  • To manage other data that Google has about you, such as: For example, YouTube and Search History, and web and activity data, go to myactivity.google.com.

Roku

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Sarah Tew / CNET

Roku's Privacy Policy states that the Company uses your search history, search results, audio information when you use voice-controlled features, channels that you access (including usage statistics, such as which channels you access, the time at which You access it), collects. and how long you spend looking at them), content and advertising interactions, and preferences and preferences.

Roku states that while some data is shared with advertisers, "your ad data will not be shared with advertisers."

You may need to do the following to limit or disable tracking.

  • Open in the main menu of Roku settings and go to privacy .
  • Make sure that the advertisement check the box Restrict display tracking is being checked.
  • To disable ACR, navigate to the Smart TV Experience tab, and make sure both options are turned off.

This restricts and disables Roku's captured data However, this does mean that Roku will not be able to make the same recommendations for the content.

LG Smart TVs (Web Operating System)

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You can use the LG User Agreement to disable the tracking of services and ads.


Sarah Tew / CNET

LG is the only manufacturer we have contacted and who has not responded to our questions. Therefore, we can not confirm what data the system collects. Here's how to limit this.

  • Select General in the main menu Settings .
  • To disable content recommendations, call AI Service and disable AI Recommendation so that LG can no longer track this usage data.
  • Continue to About this TV and select User Agreements . You must agree to the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy, as well as the language information, if you wish to use Alexa or Google Assistant.
  • Here you may revoke your consent to Interest-Based Advertising Display Information Live Plus . With this feature, LG captures viewing habits with ACR, as well as LG Channels .
  • By calling Additional Settings from this general menu, you can also disable Cookies which keeps track of which web displays appear on your TV and make sure they are the same Ads do not appear "continuously above a certain level".

Samsung Smart TVs (Tizen)

  08-privacy-policy-user-agreement-tvs -2019-cnet "data-original =" https://cnet4.cbsistatic.com/img/umnxQlPCtG0s354jNYgWuKwpxc4= / 2019/12/05 / bae50f13-2cac-4bed-9a07-40623bc7c522 / 08-privacy-policy-user-agreagements -tvs-2019-cnet.jpg

The privacy settings of Samsung.


Sarah Tew / CNET

Samsung smart TVs use ACR when providing recommendations for viewing or displaying more relevant ads. In addition to ACR, the company also collects status information about the TV to diagnose problems or improve products.

Disabling Viewing Information Services should disable ACR detection. That's the way you can do it.

  • Open Settings Select Support and go to Terms of Use .
  • Select View Information Services and uncheck I agree to turn ACR off.
  • Go to Privacy Policy for Interest Based Advertising and disable . Enable this option to make content and advertising on Smart TV more interactive and disable personalized ads.

Please note that for services such as Bixby Voice Control, you must accept Samsung's privacy policy for the voice recognition service.

Sony smart TVs (Android TV)

  16-Privacy Policy-User Agreements-tvs-2019-cnet "data-original =" https://cnet4.cbsistatic.com/img/FP7WPmfqKBZPAn_lkploENVWQrw=/2019/12 /05/aaefb967-3aa3-4130-8508-57b5db7d4a58/16-privacy-policy-user-agreements-tvs-2019-cnet.jpg[19659077[16-privacy-policy-user-agreements-tvs-2019-cnet[19659017] You can unsubscribe from the privacy settings of Sony in Android TV. </p>
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Sarah Tew / CNET

We used a Sony Bravia Android TV in our review, but the experience should be comparable to other Android TV devices.

  • Go to Settings and scroll to a tab labeled Initial Setup .
  • Scroll through the Privacy Policy, which states exactly what Google (and in this case, Sony) is doing. collects. You will then be prompted with a series of check boxes that you can use to disable advertising and program recommendations and use your data for product enhancements.
  • Clear these check boxes and click Next to prevent your data from being collected.

Vizio smart TVs (SmartCast)

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The Privacy Controls from Vizio are harder to find. For best results, reset your TV.


Sarah Tew / CNET

According to Vizio, the captured display data is device-level information about playback on a Vizio Smart TV, such as a Vizio Smart TV. Shows, movies, networks and ads. The data is "never associated with identifying information such as" name and contact information. "

The company states that the data collected is" licensed to media companies, advertisers and metering companies. "Unfortunately, Vizio has a hard time reviewing or disabling this tracking on its recent SmartCast televisions. 19659028] Go to Settings by tapping the menu on the remote.

  • Select System followed by Resetting and Managing
  • ] Go down to Viewing Data and make sure the toggle switch is set to Off, disabling ACR detection and preventing Vizio from sharing your activity with third parties.
  • Unfortunately, Vizio states that even when the data display is off, information is collected when "users use SmartCast Home" for new models or "Smart Interactivity" for older TVs. SmartCast Home is the Vizio platform for streaming apps.

    "Activity data includes device-level information and clicks and impressions collected to support and maintain the SmartCast experience, as well as to continually enhance and enhance Vizio products, including the creation of new services or the provision of recommendations . " The company informed CNET that the data collected here was "not licensed to third parties."


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