How to protect your privacy from smart TVs

National

(NBC) – Smart TVs may be great for using the internet to stream or for watching your favorite shows, however, what you may not know is that they are also gathering personal data about your viewing habits, according to the TODAY show.

Consumer correspondent for NBC, Vicky Nguyen, spoke with the Consumer Reports’ director of product testing, Maria Rerecich, on TODAY Thursday about steps you can take to outsmart your smart TV and limit the amount of personal data it collects.

Those who use devices like an Amazon Fire TV Stick, Roku or Google Chromecast on older TVs also need to be aware that those streaming players also track personal data such as what streaming services you use, what shows you watch, when you’re watching and for how long.

The information taken is used for analytics, marketing and targeted advertising and can be shared with third-party firms.

Below are steps you can take to protect your personal data on various smart devices:

Samsung TV

  • Go to “settings.”
  • Then go to “support.”
  • Scroll to “terms and policy.”
  • Navigate to “viewing information services.”
  • Uncheck the part that says “I agree,” which will stop it from monitoring what you’re watching.
  • Then navigate to “interest-based advertisements service privacy notice” and turn it off. This prevents targeted ads.

Roku

  • Go to “settings” on the home screen.
  • Go to “privacy.”
  • Then click on “advertising” and then check “limit ad-tracking.”
  • Go back to the previous screen and select “smart TV experience.”
  • Uncheck “use information for TV inputs,” which disables the smart TV’s ACR technology.

Amazon Fire TV

  • Go to “settings.”
  • Go to “preferences”
  • Then “privacy settings.”
  • Under “privacy settings,” turn off “device usage data,” which prevents using your data for personal marketing purposes.
  • Also disable “collect app and over the air usage” and “interest-based ads.”

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