Change This Important Privacy Setting on Roku, Apple TV, Fire TV and Chromecast

streaming devices are a cheap and easy access option HBO Max, Hi, net fixand other streaming services on your TV. roku, Google Chromecast, firestick and apple tv All make sticks and boxes that start at around $30 and offer instant access to your favorite apps and apps Live TV subscriptions. Unfortunately, these devices have a downside: their software platforms often see what you see and what you see follows behind the scenes.

cnet-12-days-of-tech-tips-logo-badge-square-2021.png

Naomi Antonino/CNET

Any major Smart TV Streaming platform collects your viewing data. Manufacturers of software and hardware – from your new streaming stick to yours TV themselves — use this data to “improve” the products and services they offer, for example, by customizing show recommendations and the ads they show you. While that might be frustrating, ads help keep the price down when you buy a new one streaming stick.

One tracking tool is called Automatic Content Recognition, software that recognizes the images on your TV. ACR works whether the images come through an app or an HDMI port like a cable box. Xbox or PlayStation. The good news is you can turn it off.

while we have previously this was covered for the televisions themselvesfor this story, we looked at 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 respective new streaming players.

Amazon FireTV Stick

Settings with device usage data set to On

Sarah Lord/CNET

Amazon’s privacy policy states that your Amazon device “collects data about your use of the device and its features, such as or opening and closing apps and services.”

According to Amazon, the company uses this data to “develop and improve products and features, to gain insights into how products are used, to measure customer engagement, to identify potential quality issues, to analyze our business, and to customize marketing offerings.”

The exact data it collects varies by app and service.

This is how you can regain control. All settings can be found below settingsthen Settings, then Privacy Settings.

  • Choose Device Usage Data and disable this setting.
  • Go to Collect App Usage Data and disable this setting.
  • Choose Interest-Based Ads and disable this setting.

Now your Amazon Fire TV device cannot track your data for marketing purposes or see the frequency and duration of your use of downloaded apps. It also won’t give you targeted ads, but it will still have ads.

Google Chromecast with Google TV

Chromecast privacy settings with usage and diagnostics enabled

Sarah Lord/CNET

Google has a single privacy policy for all of the company’s products, detailing what data it collects to sell ads or recommend other content, like YouTube videos.

The data collected includes terms you search for, videos you watch, views and interactions with content and ads, voice and audio information when you use audio features, purchase activities, people you communicate with or share content with, activities on third-party websites and apps that use our Services.

Google says that as a platform, Google Chromecast does not perform ACR or monitor what specific content users see.

How to control data on Google Chromecast with Google TV.

  • Go to settings and scroll down to the section labeled privacy. There you can access settings for location, usage and diagnostics, and ads. There are also sections for account settings, which include Google Assistant and payment and purchases. Finally, the section includes app settings, where you can control app permissions, special app access, and security and restrictions.
  • click Use and Diagnosis and make sure the tab is turned off. This means that you will no longer send diagnostic information to Google.
  • click To sueand Opt out of personalized advertisingto prevent apps from using your ID to create personalized ad profiles.
  • To manage other data that Google has about you, such as For example, YouTube and search histories, web and activity data, go to myactivity.google.com.

roku

Roku privacy settings with selected advertising

Sarah Lord/CNET

Roku’s privacy policy states that the company collects “your search history, search results, audio information when you use voice-activated features, channels you access (including usage statistics, such as spend watching them), interactions with content and advertising, as well as attitudes and preferences.”

Roku says it shares data with advertisers, “including ads you see on Roku channels and third-party channels, as well as ads contained in content you watch through your Roku TV’s antenna and connected devices.”

Here’s what you need to do to limit or disable some tracking.

  • Open the Roku main menu settings and go to privacy.
  • for advertisingmake sure the box Limited Ad Tracking is checked. This prevents Roku from personalizing ads and sharing streaming channel viewing data for measurement purposes. Roku tells channel providers that you don’t want personalized ads, but Roku says it’s up to the providers whether or not they honor your preference. Likewise, “Limit Ad Tracking” does not prevent individual channels such as Hulu or Netflix from collecting their own data about your usage or sharing this information with other parties.
  • For the Roku devices that come with an embedded microphone in the remote, you can go to microphone and then Access to the channel microphone to choose how a channel gets access to the microphone. You can always grant them access, never grant them access, or display a prompt and ask permission to access the microphone. The Channel Permissions button allows you to manage permissions for each individual channel.

apple tv

Apple TV privacy settings with Share Apple TV Analytics set to Off

Sarah Lord/CNET

Apple’s privacy policy claims that the company primarily collects information from your Apple ID so you can seamlessly pick up where you left off on other devices. The information it tracks includes “what content you’re playing, when you played it, what device you played it from, and where exactly in the content you paused or stopped watching it.” We also collect a detailed history of all viewing activity for Apple TV Channels and Apple TV Plus.”

It also says the company shares some information with partners who “work with Apple to provide our products and services, help Apple market them to customers, and sell ads on Apple’s behalf that appear on the App Store and Apple.” News and Stocks are displayed”.

But unlike the others on this list, Apple always asks if you want individual apps to track your usage when you first use them. You can prevent any app from seeing your data by clicking No each time this appears.

And Apple has a few more privacy settings you can change. How to find them:

First you need to find that and click on it Settings icon. Beat those General taband then scroll down to privacy. The privacy menu includes Location Services, Tracking, Photos, Bluetooth, HomeKit, Media and Apple Music, and Apple TV users.

  • Click on persecution and make sure Allow apps to ask for tracking is on.
  • Go back to privacy Menu. You will see a separate section called Analysis and Improvements.
  • To change Share Apple TV Analytics to out of.
  • To change Improve Siri and Dictation to out of.

You’ve now blocked Apple from tracking your analytics and using your data to improve Siri or Dictation.

See more new articles in category: Troubleshooting
Leave a comment