How to Prevent Your Smart TV From Tracking You

If you own a Smart TV, chances are good that it comes with Samba TV, technology that allows marketers to track what you watch so they can send you ads that match your interests (and make recommendations).

The software is installed on Smart TVs from manufacturers such as Sony, TCL, Sharp and Philips to name a few. In addition to keeping track of what you’re watching, it can also detect which other devices in your home are connected to the same Wi-Fi network. Samba then uses its data to help businesses promote more relevant ads to you, according to The New York Times .

You need to select the Samba service when setting up your TV to track you, but as the Times points out, you will probably inadvertently opt out by watching many screens of your TV setup process without really understanding what you’ve agreed to. This is exactly what you agree to with Samba .

Luckily, you can turn it off as well.

Here are instructions on how to ditch Samba on your Sony TV (the process should be pretty much the same for other TVs, but you might have to hunt around a bit):

  • Turn on the TV
  • Press the HOME button on the remote control.
  • Select Settings
  • Select a network.
  • Select ” Samba Interactive TV”.
  • Select ” Samba Interactive TV : ON”. To turn off Samba TV , select Disable . Select Enable to enable Samba TV .

Just because the device in your home entertainment center doesn’t use Samba doesn’t mean it isn’t tracking what you’re watching either. Consumer Reports has a rundown on how to disable tracking on LG, Vizio, Samsung and Roku TVs.

And if you have a Smart TV, you don’t see any tracking options in the menu, but still a little worried about missing something, you can always reset your TV to factory settings. When you do, you will need to go through the setup process again. This time, pay close attention and make sure you are not using any seemingly questionable tracking services.


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