Got a Smart TV? You May Want to Switch Off Data Collection.

I brought home my first smart TV and in a haze of excitement hooked it up to my optimum internet connection. In my ignorance, I blissfully streamed away for days before realizing that I was receiving personalized recommendations for TV shows and movies. It was at this moment of epiphany that I realized that like any other smart device that could be connected to the internet my smart TV collects my usage data to offer personalized recommendations. However, I wanted my entertainment experience to be private and was okay without the recommendations so turned off the data collection.

If you’re like me and value your privacy more than movie recommendations then find below the procedure to switch off the feature on your respective Smart TV.

Sony

The latest Smart TVs by Sony use the operating system by Google called Android TV. It’s not possible to opt-out of that because in order for you to use your TV you need to accept the Privacy Policy by Google.

However, you can choose to decline Sony Bravia’s Policy and Samba TV Automatic Content Recognition (ACR) Technology by following the steps below.

  1. Click on Home -> then go to Settings -> and About -> then Legal Information -> and then Privacy Policy
  2. To switch off the feature you’ll need to scroll down through the policy in order to find the exact spot where it mentions -> Sony Smart TV Services, Samba TV, Program Recommendations, Advertisements, and Product Improvements.
  3. To switch off Samba TV on the 2019 onwards models you just go to the Settings -> and click System Preferences.

Samsung

Follow the below-mentioned steps to prevent your Samsung Smart TV from using your viewing data.

  1. Home -> Settings -> Support -> Terms & Policies
  2. Turn off Viewing Information Service as well as Interest-Based Advertising. If you have an older smart TV this might be SyncPlus and Marketing.
  3. On the latest TVs with voice recognition, you may want to switch off Voice Recognition Services. You won’t be able to use the voice controls anymore, but there won’t be any storage of your voice control data either.

LG

For the older smart TVs:

  1. Settings -> General -> LivePlus
  2. Turn off the LivePlus feature

For 2018 onwards models:

  1. Setting -> All Settings -> General -> About This TV -> User Agreements
  2. All the agreements regarding Privacy Policy, Voice Information, Viewing Information, Terms of Use, LivePlus User, and Internet-Based Advertisement can be individually opted out here.

Vizio

There was a complaint filed against Vizio in 2016 that forced the company to delete all the acquired consumer data. Since then they claim to have disabled the data collection on all their smart TVs. However, it is always best to double-check for your own good through the following steps.

  1. Menu -> System -> Reset & Admin
  2. Turn off the Smart Interactivity feature

Amazon Fire TV

Amazon Fire TV is a platform built into several TV brands. Amazon claims that it never collects any user data through ACR technology. However, if you have a smart TV then you definitely will use a streaming app and that’s when the data collection will occur. In order to switch this off take the following steps.

  1. Settings -> Preferences -> Privacy Settings
  2. Turn off Collect App, Interest-Based Ads and Over the Air Usage Data.

Roku TV

Just like Amazon Fire TV, Roku TV is a smart TV platform used by many huge brands like Hisense, JVC, Sharp, etc. In fact, it is one of the most popular platforms used in the smart TV market. You can choose to switch off ACR on your Roku TV connected devices through the following steps.

  1. Home -> Settings -> Privacy -> Smart TV Experience
  2. Uncheck Use Information for TV Inputs

You can also choose to opt-out of Advertising to stop personalized advertisement in the Roku TV apps but that won’t stop your data collection on the Roku streaming apps that you use. That’s a little tricky!

Conclusion

I guess when you’re connected to the internet being too careful is good practice. So keep up the good fight lovely people and turn off those data collection settings. Have fun and stay safe!

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