BEWARE! Your Smart TV Could Be Spying On You! Here’s How To Stop It





Smart TVs are becoming increasingly popular due to their convenience and cost-effectiveness compared to other technology on the market. However, with any smart technology, there is a trade-off: the convenience of a connected experience comes at the cost of data collection on users. This guide will walk you through how to take back your privacy and opt out of data collection on your smart TV. 


First, it’s important to note that many smart TVs come equipped with cameras that most people aren’t aware of. While you can cover up the camera or remove it yourself, doing so will likely void the device’s warranty. A better option is to start with your smart TV’s tracking features, specifically Automatic Content Recognition (ACR). ACR is a visual recognition feature that can identify every ad, TV show, or movie you’re playing on your TV, including streaming boxes, cable/over-the-air TV, and even DVD and Blu-Ray players. What we don’t know is that this data is collected and used for marketing and targeted advertising purposes.





To opt out of ACR, the exact method will depend on your TV’s brand. Check the steps below for some well-known brands: 




1.  For newer Samsung sets:- 


a) Go to Settings > Support > Scroll down to Terms & Policies. 

Turn off Viewing Information Services, Internet-based Advertising (for personalized ad tracking), and Voice Recognition Services. 


2.   On older Samsung smart TVs:-

a) Go to Smart Hub menu > Settings > Support > Look for Terms & Policy > Disable SyncPlus and Marketing. 

You can disable Voice Recognition Services in this section as well, but keep in mind that doing so will also disable voice commands.




For LG’s ACR technology, known as LivePlus, it’s built into the WebOS-powered smart TVs. 


  1. To turn this off:- 


a) Go to Settings > All Settings > Scroll down to General > Scroll down to LivePlus and switch it Off. 


  1. To limit other forms of data collection on your LG smart TV:- 


b) Go back to Settings > All Settings > Scroll down to General > About This TV > User Agreements > Turn Personalized Advertising ‘Off’.




If you’re looking to minimize the impact of big data on your viewing experience, here are some additional tips to try these steps: 


  1. Adjust your privacy settings to limit what data your device sends back to the manufacturer.


  1. Disable voice control, as this may stop your TV from analyzing conversations to listen for the wake word or commands.


  1. Avoid free apps and channels, as they often come with a mix of ads and data collection.




Amazon’s Fire TV platform, for example, is baked into some smart TVs. Although Amazon has stated that it doesn’t use ACR, it still has the ability to collect data about the over-the-air channels you watch and the streaming apps you use. 


 To turn this off:  


a) Go to your TV’s Settings > Preferences > Scroll to the “Right to Privacy Settings.” 

b) Turn off the setting labelled “Collect App and Over-the-Air Usage Data” and Interest-based ads in this section.


In conclusion, while smart TVs offer a convenient and cost-effective option for technology, they also come with a trade-off of data collection. However, by following the steps outlined above, you can take back your privacy and opt out of data collection on your smart TV. This will allow you to enjoy your favourite shows without the worry of data collection and targeted advertising.



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