How do I stop Roku, Fire TV, Google Chromecast from watching what you’re streaming?

Sling TV for the Roku Ultra 4K 2021

Sarah Tew / topwatchbest

Roku, Apple TV, Fire TV, and Google Chromecast streaming devices they are cheap, comfortable and open a world of entertainment. From around $ 30, they can allow any TV to access Netflix, YouTube, HBO Max, and more streaming servicesletting you cut the cable TV cable and save even more money. Defect? These devices also watch what you watch. While modern TVs and streaming devices don’t track you with physical cameras, their software platforms are common keeping track of what you are doing from behind the scenes.

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Naomi Antonino / topwatchbest

Every major smart TV streaming platform captures your viewing data. Developers of software and hardware – from your new streaming to your TV – use it to “improve” the products they offer, for example by customizing program recommendations and the advertisements you see. While potentially frustrating, being able to show ads helps keep costs down when you buy a new one stick for streaming.

One of the tracking tools is Automatic Content Recognition, which is software that recognizes images on a TV screen. ACR works regardless of whether the images are passing through an application or an HDMI port such as a cable box, Xbox or PlayStation. The good news is you can turn it off.

While we previously discussed this for the tvs themselvesin this story, we checked all the latest software on Amazon, Roku, google and apple streamers.

Here’s what we found and what you can do about it on your new streaming players.

Amazon Fire TV Stick

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Sarah Lord / topwatchbest

Amazon’s privacy policy says that your Amazon device “collects data about your device use and its features, such as home screen navigation, device settings selection (such as device language, display size, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth options), or opening and closing. Applications and Services ”.

According to Amazon, they use this data to “develop and improve products and features, gain insight into how products are used, evaluate customer engagement, identify potential quality issues, analyze our business, and adjust marketing offerings.”

The exact data it captures varies by application and service.

Here’s how you can take back control. All settings can be found by going to Settingsnext Preferences next Privacy settings.

  • To choose Device usage data and turn off this setting
  • Go to Gather Application usage data and turn off this setting
  • choose Interest-Based Ads and turn off 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.

Google Chromecast with Google TV

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Sarah Lord / topwatchbest

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, shopping 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 Settingsscroll 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 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 myactivity.google.com.

Year

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Sarah Lord / topwatchbest

The Roku privacy policy states that the company will collect “your search history, search results, audio information when using voice-enabled features, the channels you access (including usage statistics such as channel access, time of access and access to channels). how long do you spend watching them), interacting with content and ads, and your 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 and 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

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Sarah Lord / topwatchbest

Apple’s privacy policy states that they collect information from your Apple ID mainly so that you can seamlessly pick up where you left off on other devices. The information they track 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. ”

They also state that they share certain information with their partners who “work with Apple to provide our products and services, help Apple sell to customers, and sell advertising on behalf of Apple for display on 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 application from showing your data by clicking “no” each time it appears.

But Apple still has a few other 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
  • Rest Share Apple TV Analytics down Off.
  • Rest Improve Siri and Dictation down Off.

You’ve now successfully restricted Apple from tracking your analytics and using your data to improve Siri or dictate.

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