People stream content to files Television All the time. It is one of the best ways for the whole family to watch shows and movies from your favorites broadcasting servicesSuch as NetflixAnd the hollow And the HBO Max. But broadcasting devices From RoccoAnd the google chromecastAnd the Amazon And the apple It has a downside: its software platforms are often Track what you’re watching behind the scenes.
every specialty Smart TV A streaming platform that captures your viewing data. Software and hardware makers—from your new broadcast to your TV set—use that data to “improve” the products and services they offer, by personalizing the viewing recommendations and ads they show you, for example. While this can be frustrating, the ads help keep the price down when buying a new product running stick.
While we covered earlier Privacy settings for TVs Themselves, for this story, we’ve checked out all the latest software on streaming devices from Amazon, Roku, Google, and Apple.
Here’s what we found and what you can do about it on your new streaming players.
Amazon Fire TV Stick
Amazon told CNET that it collects limited information about customers’ use of third-party apps on Fire TV. “We collect data on how often and how often apps are used on Fire TV (i.e. when a customer opens or closes an app), which helps improve service and device. We do not collect information about what customers watch in party apps on Fire TV.”
Here’s how to determine how much data your Fire TV collects. All settings can be found by going to Settingsand then preferences, and then Privacy settings.
- Choose Device usage data Turn this setting off.
- go to the Collecting Application usage data Turn this setting off.
- Choose Interest-based advertising Turn this setting off.
Now, your Amazon Fire TV device will not be able to track your data for marketing purposes or be able to consider how often and for how long you use downloaded apps. It will also not give you targeted ads, but it will still contain ads. For more details check out Frequently asked questions about Amazon privacy settings.
Google Chromecast with Google TV
The data collected includes the terms you search for, the videos you watch, views and interactions with content and ads, audio and audio information when using audio features, purchase activity, people with whom you communicate or share content, and activity on third-party sites and apps that use our Services .
Google says that Google Chromecast as a platform does not perform ACR or monitor the specific content that users watch.
Here’s how to control data on Google Chromecast with Google TV.
- head for Settings and scroll down to the section labeled Privacy. There you can access site and usage settings, personalization and ads. There are also Account Settings sections that feature the Google Assistant as well as Payment and Purchases. Finally, the section contains the app settings where you can control the app’s permissions, access to private apps, security, and restrictions.
- click Usage and Diagnostics And make sure this tab is turned off. This means that you are no longer sending diagnostic information to Google.
- click advertisementsAnd the Opting out of personalizing adsto prevent apps from using your ID to create personalized advertising profiles.
- To manage other data that Google owns, such as YouTube, search logs, web data, and activity, head to myactivity.google.com.
Roku says it shares data with advertisers “including the ads you see on Roku channels and third-party channels, as well as ads embedded in the content you watch through the Roku TV antenna and connected devices.”
Here’s what you need to do to limit or disable some of the tracking.
- From the main Roku menu, open Settings and headed to Privacy.
- for Advertisingmake sure that the box Limit ad tracking Examined. This prevents Roku from personalizing ads and sharing viewing data from broadcast channels for the purpose of measurement. Roku will tell channel providers that you prefer no personalized ads, but according to Roku, it’s up to providers if they respect your preferences or not. Likewise, Limit Ad Tracking will not prevent individual channels, such as Hulu or Netflix, from collecting their own data about your use or passing that information on to other parties.
- For Roku devices with a microphone built into the remote control, you can go to microphone and then Microphone channel access Chooses how the channel accesses the microphone. You can always let them access, never let them access or get a quick popup and ask for permission to access the microphone. With the Channel Permissions button, you can manage the permissions for each channel individually.
It also states that the company shares certain information with partners who “work with Apple to deliver our products and services, help Apple market to customers and sell ads on Apple’s behalf to display in the App Store and Apple News and Stocks.”
But unlike others on this list, Apple always asks if you want individual apps to track your usage the first time you use them. You can prevent every app from seeing your data by clicking No every time this pops up.
Apple has some privacy settings that you can change. Here’s how to find it:
First, you will have to find a file Settings icon. Hit General tabthen scroll down to Privacy. The privacy menu features Location, Tracking, Photos, Bluetooth, HomeKit, Media, and Apple Music services as well as Apple TV users.
- Click tracking And make sure of it Allow apps to prompt for tracking he is on me.
- Refer to the Privacy existing. You will see a separate section called Analytics and improvements.
- they change Share Apple TV Analytics to me About.
- they change Improve Siri and Dictation to me About.
You’ve now restricted Apple from tracking your analytics and using your data to improve Siri or Dictation.
July 15 correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that these streaming devices track what you’re watching through automatic content recognition, a program that recognizes images on your TV. None of these four platforms use ACR on streaming devices, although some Smart TVs running these platforms do use ACR.
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