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Key privacy settings to adjust if you stream to Roku, Apple TV, and other devices

Streaming devices are now the norm, with platforms like Netflix, HuluMax and others streaming services that allow us to connect and watch TV conveniently. Although there are higher quality options at Apple, Roku, Google Chromecast And AmazonIt’s essential to know that these devices track your viewing habits in the background, despite their amazing features.

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Each major Smart TV the streaming platform captures your viewing data. Software and hardware manufacturers (from your new streaming stick to your TV itself) use this data to “improve” the products and services they offer, by tailoring the recommendations and advertisements they show you, For example. While potentially frustrating, the ads help keep the price low when you buy a new streaming stick.

While we have already covered privacy settings for TVs themselves, for 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 on your respective new streaming players.

Preferences with device usage data set to On Preferences with device usage data set to On

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Amazon Fire TV stick

Amazon told CNET that it collects limited information about customers’ use of third-party apps on Fire TV. “We collect data about the frequency and duration of app usage on Fire TV (i.e. when a customer opens or closes an app), which helps improve the service and devices “We don’t collect information about what customers watch in third party apps on Fire TV.”

Amazon’s privacy policy states that your Amazon device “also collects data about your use of the device and its features, such as your navigation on the home screen (and) selection of device settings (such as device language, display size, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth options).”

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

  • Choose Device usage data and turn this setting off.
  • Go to Collect App usage data and turn this setting off.
  • Select Interest-based ads and turn this setting off.

Now your Amazon Fire TV device will no longer be able to track your data for marketing purposes or see how often and for how long you use downloaded apps. It also won’t serve you targeted advertising, but it will still contain ads. For more details, see Amazon Privacy Settings FAQ.

Chromecast privacy settings with usage and diagnostics set to On Chromecast privacy settings with usage and diagnostics set to On

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Google Chromecast with Google TV

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

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, purchasing activity, people with which you communicate or share content, activity on third-party sites and applications that use our services.

Google claims that Google Chromecast, as a platform, does not perform ACR or monitor the specific content that users are watching.

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

  • Head toward Settings and scroll down to the section titled Confidentiality. There you can access location, usage, diagnostics and advertisements settings. There are also sections for account settings which include Google Assistant as well as payment and purchases. Finally, the section contains app settings where you can control app permissions, special app access, and security and restrictions.
  • Click on Use and diagnosis and make sure the tab is turned off. This means that you no longer send diagnostic information to Google.
  • Click on AdsAnd Disable ad personalizationto prevent apps from using your ID to create personalized advertising profiles.
  • To manage other data Google has about you, such as YouTube and search histories, as well as web and activity data, go to myactivity.google.com.

Roku Privacy Settings with Featured Advertising Roku Privacy Settings with Featured Advertising

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Roku’s privacy policy states that the company will collect “your search history, search results, audio information when you use the voice features, the channels you access (including usage statistics such as which channels you access). you access it, the time you access it and the duration for which you access it). switch to viewing them), interactions with content and advertisements, as well as settings and preferences.

Roku says it shares data with advertisers “including the ads you view on Roku Channels and third-party channels, as well as ads included in content you view through your Roku TV antenna and connected devices.”

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

  • From the Roku main menu, open Settings and head towards Confidentiality.
  • For Advertisementmake sure the box Limit ad tracking is verified. This prevents Roku from personalizing ads and sharing viewing data from streaming channels for measurement purposes. Roku will let channel providers know that you prefer not to have personalized ads, but according to Roku, it’s up to the providers to decide whether or not they honor your preference. Likewise, “Limit Ad Tracking” will not prevent individual channels, like Hulu or Netflix, from collecting their own data about your usage or transmitting that information to other parties.
  • For Roku devices that have a built-in microphone in the remote, you can access Microphone and then Channel microphone access to choose how a channel accesses the microphone. You can always allow them access, never allow them access, or have a pop-up prompt and ask for permission to access the microphone. With the Channel Permissions button, you can manage permissions for each individual channel.

Apple TV Privacy Settings with Share Apple TV Analytics set to Off Apple TV Privacy Settings with Share Apple TV Analytics set to Off

Sarah Seigneur/CNET

Apple TV

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

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

Unlike the other apps on this list, Apple always asks you if you want individual apps to track your usage the first time you use them. You can prevent each application from seeing your data by clicking no each time this window appears.

Apple also offers additional privacy settings that you can change. Here’s how to find them:

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

  • Click on Follow up and make sure that Allow apps to request tracking East On.
  • Return to Confidentiality menu. You will see a separate section called Analysis and improvements.
  • Change Share Apple TV analytics has Disabled.
  • Change Improve Siri and dictation has Disabled.

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

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