Your TV is spying on you but you can turn it off

Fun fact: Compaq’s first laptop shipped in 1983 and cost over $8,400 in today’s dollars. Wow, times have changed.

Your computer is still an important investment, and you want it to run well for years.

You don’t have to deal with the same issues with your TV, but one common question I have is The best way to scan fingerprints and dust.

Unfortunately, you have to think of tracking on your TV just like on your computer or phone. Keep reading to find out how you welcomed a spy into your living room — and what you can do about it.

A man watching TV
Your TV might be spying on you, and here’s how to stop it.
Getty Images/iStockphoto

Why are TVs so cheap?

Remember the day when a large flat screen TV was quite a luxury item?

Now, televisions come with a host of bells and whistles and smart features, and you can buy the best models for a fraction of the price. what gives?

It’s all about the data. You already know that your private information is worth big bucks. One way to stop greedy data brokers is by Remove yourself from people search sites.

Think of everything TV knows about you and your family. This data compensates for the low price of new TVs. Over time, this data farming makes back more money than you ever made on these groups.

Are you shopping for a TV? There are plenty of buzzwords and marketing terms out there to get you to spend more. Don’t fall for it.

Is it worth it? It depends

It’s hard to do much in the digital world without being tracked, monitored, or monetized in some way. some people Work hard to find ways around thatOr choose to pay for extra privacy or use alternatives that focus on users, not data mining.

Others raise their hands saying this is the price we pay for the free and cheap services and devices we depend on to run our lives.

I fall somewhere in the middle. Yes, there is some amount of tracking and data collection you have to swallow if you want to use anything from a smart assistant to your inbox.

But you don’t have to blindly agree to every collection method. There’s only so much you can do to get your privacy back as long as you’re willing Dive into your device’s settings.

When it comes to your TV, here’s where to start.

Stop your TV from spying

Many smart TVs come with cameras that most people don’t realize exist. There is not much you can do without voiding the warranty of the device and removing it yourself. You can cover it up, but who wants electrical tape on their TV?

Start with your Smart TV’s tracking features – especially Automatic Content Recognition (ACR).

What is ACR, and how do you turn it off? It is the visual recognition feature that can identify every commercial, TV show, or movie that you play on your TV. This includes broadcast boxes, cable/over-the-air TV and even DVD and Blu-Ray players.

This data is collected and used for targeted marketing and advertising purposes. If all of this sounds too scary, there are ways to turn it off. The exact methods depend on your TV brand.


On older Vizio TVs using Vizio Internet Apps (VIA), go to TVs System And then: Reset and charge > Intelligent interaction > turning off.

On Vizio Smart TVs using the newer SmartCast system, go to System > Reset and charge > Display data > Switch it to turning off.


On the latest Samsung suites, go to settings > the support > Scroll down to Terms policies. Here you can turn around turning off Display information services (Samsung’s ACR technology), online advertising (to track personalized ads), and voice recognition services.

On older Samsung Smart TVs, go to TVs Smart Hub menu > settings > the support > Find Terms and policy > Then Champions SyncPlus Marketing. You can disable voice recognition services in this section as well.

Keep in mind that turning off voice recognition services on your Samsung TV will disable its voice commands.


LG’s ACR technology is integrated into the latest Smart TVs running WebOS, known as LivePlus. To turn this off, go to settings > All settings > Scroll down to Public > Scroll down to the setting named Live Plus > Switch it to turning off.

To limit other forms of data collection on your LG Smart TV, refer to settings > All settings > Scroll down to Public > about this tv > User Agreements > Toggle personalized ads to turning off.

More steps to keep your habits private

If you’re hoping to reduce the impact of big data on your viewing experience, here are more tips for you to try.

  • Set your privacy settings to Determine what data your device sends to the manufacturer.
  • Disable Voice Control. This may prevent the TV from analyzing conversations to listen for word or wake commands.
  • Avoid free apps and channels. This combination of ads and data collection is generally supported.
  • Consider what your streaming services and devices track, too.

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