Got a new streamer? Change these privacy settings now

Streaming devices With Year, Google Chromecast, Amazon and Apple provide great ways to add smart features to your TV quickly and easily. While these devices are a great way to watch your favorite content streaming servicesSuch as Netflix, Hulu and HBO max.they also have a downside: their software platforms are common keeping track of what you are watching behind the scenes.

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Each major Smart TV the streaming platform captures your viewing data. Software and hardware developers – from your new streaming medium to yours TV sam – uses this data to “improve” the products and services offered, for example by adjusting program recommendations and displayed advertisements. While potentially frustrating, ads help bring down the price when you buy a new one stick for streaming.

Although we have discussed before privacy settings for televisions ourselves, in this story, we checked all 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 new streaming players.

Preferences with device usage data enabled

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Amazon Fire TV Stick

Amazon told topwatchbest that it is collecting limited information about customer use of third-party apps on the Fire TV. “We collect data about the frequency and duration of app usage on Fire TV (i.e. when a customer opens or closes the app) to help improve services and devices. We don’t collect information about what customers are watching on Fire TV’s party apps. “

Amazon’s privacy policy says that your Amazon device “also collects data about your device usage and features, such as home screen navigation.” [and] select device settings (such as device language, display size, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth options). “

Here’s how to limit the amount of data your Fire TV collects. All settings can be found by going to Settingsnext Preferences, next Privacy settings.

  • To choose Device usage data and disable this setting.
  • Go to Gather Application usage data and disable this setting.
  • Choose Interest-based advertising and disable this setting.

Now your Amazon Fire TV device will not be able to track your data for marketing purposes or see the frequency and duration of use of downloaded applications. It will also not provide you with targeted advertisements, but will still contain advertisements. For more information, check out Frequently asked questions about Amazon’s privacy settings.

Chromecast privacy settings with usage and diagnostics set to On

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Google Chromecast with Google TV

Google has one privacy policy for the company’s products that details the data collected to sell advertising or to recommend other content such as YouTube videos.

Data collected includes search queries, videos watched, views and interactions with content and ads, audible and audible feedback when using audio features, purchasing activities, people with whom you communicate or share content, activity on third party sites, and applications using our services.

Google claims that Google Chromecast as a platform does not perform ACR or monitor what specific content users are viewing.

Here’s how to control data on Google Chromecast using Google TV.

  • Head 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 that include the Google Assistant and Payments & Purchases. Finally, the section contains the app settings where you can control app permissions, special app access, and security and restrictions.
  • Click here Usage and diagnostics and make sure the tab is turned off. This means that you are no longer sending diagnostic information to Google.
  • Click here Adsand Opt out of ad personalizationto prevent applications from using your ID to create personalized ad profiles.
  • To manage other data Google has about you, such as YouTube and search history, and network and activity data, go to
Roku privacy settings with your ad selected

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The Roku privacy policy states that the company will collect “your search history, search results, audio information when you use voice-enabled features, the channels you access (including usage statistics such as channel access, time of access and time they spend watching them), interactions with content and ads, and settings and preferences. ”

Roku claims to share data with advertisers “including the ads you watch on Roku and third-party channels, and the ads you see on the content you watch through the Roku TV antenna and connected devices.”

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

  • From the Roku main menu, open Settings and go to Privacy.
  • Down advertisementmake sure the box Limited ad tracking checked. This prevents the Roku from personalizing ads and sharing streaming viewing data for measurement. Roku will tell channel providers that you’d rather not show personalized ads, but according to Roku, it’s up to the providers to respect your preferences or not. Likewise, the ‘Limit Ad Tracking’ feature will not stop individual channels such as Hulu or Netflix from collecting their own usage data or sharing that information with others.
  • For Roku devices that have a built-in microphone on the remote, you can go to Microphone and then Access to the channel microphone to select how the channel accesses the microphone. You can always allow them access, never allow them access, or display a prompt asking for permission to access your microphone. Using the Channel Permissions button you can manage permissions for each channel separately.
Apple TV privacy settings with Share Apple TV Analytics turned off

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Apple TV

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

It also states that the company shares certain information with partners who “work with Apple to provide our products and services, help Apple sell to customers, and sell advertising on Apple’s behalf for display in the App Store and Apple News and Stocks.”

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

Apple has more privacy settings that you can change. Here’s how to find them:

First you need to find and click settings icon. Hit the General tabthen scroll down to Privacy. The Privacy menu includes Location Services, Tracking, Photos, Bluetooth, HomeKit, Media, and Apple Music, as well as Apple TV Users.

  • Click here Tracking and make sure Allow applications to ask for tracking is On.
  • get back to Privacy menu. You will see a separate section called Analytics and improvements.
  • Change Share Apple TV Analytics down Off.
  • Change Improve Siri and dictation down Off.

Now you’ve limited Apple to tracking your analytics and using your data to improve Siri or dictate.

Correction, July 15: An earlier version of this story mistakenly stated that these streaming devices track what you are watching by using automatic content recognition, which is software that recognizes images on a TV screen. Neither of these four platforms use ACR on streaming devices, although some smart TVs supporting these platforms do use ACR.

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