How to Stop Your TV From Tracking Everything You Watch

If I told you that your TV monitors everything you do in the name of data collection and advertising, it probably wouldn’t shock you. After all, it’s 2022; privacy is almost dead. Still, that’s not cool – so how do you stop your smart TV from tracking what you watch so you can safely go back to your days of watching the Super Bowl or playing video games?

How does your TV keep track of what you’re watching?

Meet ACR: Short for Automatic Content Recognition, this technology allows your smart TV to watch what you are watching, detect what you are watching and use that information to recommend new content and show you more relevant ads. Your TV records moments of a show or movie ( sometimes including sound ) and sends this information to a database to match it with the content library.

This behavior occurs regardless of what you watch on TV or through which channels. Whether you use smart TV apps, a Blu-Ray player, a device like Apple TV or PlayStation, whatever you show on your TV, ACR can view and report.

Most major TV manufacturers use ACR tracking in their devices. After Vizio got into trouble for not properly disclosing the amount of data they were stealing from customers, TV manufacturers now include these settings in initial setup agreements. If you’re like me, you accidentally agreed to this tracking without realizing it because you were too focused on setting up your TV to care about, blah, reading.

In any case, if you have a smart TV, it most likely has ACR tracking, which you can turn off. However, all TV manufacturers call this option differently. We’ll take a look at some of the top brands, what they call their ACR setups and where to find them. However, these brands are constantly changing settings and setting names; even if you have a TV from the company listed here, our instructions may not be relevant to you.

If so, your best bet is to google your specific TV model and find its ACR settings. You should find a manual from the manufacturer or a step by step guide from someone who has access to your TV and knows where to find the setting.

How to disable ACR on smart TV

If you have an LG smart TV (like mine), then your ACR settings will be in the Live Plus section. The option sounds innocent enough, but it’s probably meant for you to leave it on. You’ll find this option under All Settings > General > Live Plus . While you’re here, you can also enable ” Limit Ad Tracking ” in the ” Advertising ” section.

Let’s take a look at another popular TV brand, Samsung. If your smart TV is made by this tech giant, you’ll find the ACR options under Settings > Terms & Conditions . Be sure to disable ” View Information Services ” and ” Internet Ads “.

Sony saves its ACR options under Settings > System Preferences (or Device Settings) > Samba Interactive TV . From here, disable Samba Interactive TV. In addition, you can find ad tracking features under About > Ads > Ads Personalization .

Recent Vizio TVs have an ACR option under Administration & Privacy > View Data . Disable this option and you’re done. If you don’t see Data View, search for Interactivity , Vizio’s old name for ACR. To limit ad tracking, go back one page to the Advertising section .

[ Yahoo! Finance ]


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