Smart TVs save a lot of money compared to other technologies on the market. These include built-in apps that can save you buying streaming devices like a Roku or Fire TV Stick.

As with any smart technology, there is a price to pay for convenience. In exchange for an always-connected experience, smart TVs collect user data—lots of it. Tap or click here to listen to Kim’s daily tech update on the smart TV dilemma.

You won’t believe how your smart TV doesn’t just gobble up your viewing data. In some cases, it also collects information about your home. This guide will walk you through how to opt out of this data collection so you can get back to binge-watching your favorite shows in peace.

Turn off tracking features on your smart TV

Can you minimize the spying activities on your smart TV? yes Our advice: Turn off its tracking features – especially Automatic Content Recognition (ACR).

What is ACR and how to turn it off? This is a visual recognition feature that can identify any ad, TV show or movie you play on your TV. This includes streaming boxes, cable/broadcast TV, and even DVD and Blu-Ray players.

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


You can turn off your set’s ACR features if you own a Vizio smart TV. This is how:

On older Vizio TVs that use Vizio Internet Apps (VIA), go to the TV System and then: Reset and Administration > Smart Interactivity > Off

On Vizio smart TVs that use the newer SmartCast system, go to System > Reset and Admin > View data > switch it to off


Some Samsung smart TVs include voice control. If you’re concerned about your privacy, you can completely turn off voice control, ACR, and ad tracking.

On newer Samsung sets go to Settings > supports > scroll down to Terms and Conditions. Here you can turn off View information services (Samsung ACR technology), Internet based advertising (for personalized ad tracking) and Voice recognition services.

For older Samsung Smart TVs, go to TVs Smart Hub menu > Settings > Support > look for Terms and Policy > then disable SyncPlus and Marketing. You can disable Voice recognition services and in this section.

Note that turning off voice recognition services on your Samsung TV will disable its voice commands.


LG’s ACR technology is built into their newer smart TVs running WebOS, known as LivePlus. To turn this off, go to Settings > All settings > scroll down to General > scroll down to a setting called LivePlus > switch it to off

To limit other forms of data collection on your LG Smart TV, return to Settings > All settings > scroll down to General > About this TV > User Agreements > I switch Personalized advertising to off.

Amazon Fire TV

Amazon’s Fire TV platform is built into some smart TVs. Although Amazon said it doesn’t use ACR to identify content on Fire TV Edition TVs, it can still collect data about the over-the-air channels you watch and streaming apps you use.

To turn this off, go to your TV Settings > Preferences > then scroll to “Right to privacy settings.” Turn off the setting labeled “Collect app usage and wireless usage data.” You can also turn off Interest-based ads In this section.

Roku TV

On Roku-powered smart TVs, you can turn off ACR by going to Settings > scroll down and select Privacy > Smart TV Experience.

Then uncheck the “Using information about TV inputs” to disable ACR. While this will prevent your Roku TV from identifying your content at the pixel level, Roku can still collect data about the Roku TV streaming channels you have installed and using.

To prevent personalized ads on your Roku profile, go to Settings > privacy > advertising, then check “Limit ad tracking.” Note: This setting is also available on Roku streaming gadgets.

Samba TV

Another way advertisers track you is through a service called Samba TV.

How widespread is Samba TV? According to the New York Times, the company has struck deals with about a dozen popular TV makers to put its software on several models.

Brands with Samba TV include Sony, Sharp, TCL, Element, Sanyo, Toshiba, Westinghouse, Seiki and Philips.

Samba TV is described as an advanced technology layer on your TV that understands what your TV is playing, regardless of the source. It also communicates with your devices, enabling personalized recommendations and unique second-screen experiences for compatible TVs and apps.

But wait, there’s more! The Samba TV system can also reach other devices in your home connected to the same network as the TV. This means that in addition to being able to recognize and track content regardless of source, Samba TV can also create a device map of your home.

Samba TV claims it does not sell its tracking data directly. Instead, advertisers and marketing firms pay them to send targeted ads to other connected gadgets in the home.

For example, it can target ads and referrals to your smartphone after running a customer’s TV ad. Advertisers can also add Samba TV tags to their websites to know how many people visit after watching one of their ads.

Have you chosen Samba TV?

Have you opted into Samba TV’s service without even realizing it? When a Samba TV-enabled device is set up for the first time, you are encouraged to select the service and accept its terms of service and privacy policy.

The choice sounds attractive enough. “Interact with your favorite shows. Get recommendations based on the content you like. Connect your devices for exclusive content and special offers,” it said.

The problem? The fine details of its terms of use are only available online via a browser or if you click on another screen on your TV.

While these documents reveal their tracking practices, they are also long and difficult to understand. The company Terms of Use exceed 6500 words and privacy policy is over 4000 words! (Who even reads these cryptic terms of service?)

It’s no wonder that more than 90% of people choose to opt in without realizing the amount of information they’re giving the company.

How to unsubscribe from Samba TV

If you’re totally freaked out by Samba TV’s data collection and want to opt out, here’s how.

Smart TVs

According to Samba TV’s website, you can opt out of its smart TV services at any time by finding the option on your TV’s Settings page or in the Interactive TV Service user interface.

If applicable, another way to limit spying is by enabling “Limit Ad Tracking” from the “Privacy” menu in “Interactive TV Settings” on your smart TV.

Samba TV wrote that its advertising platform will exclude your Samba TV advertising ID from targeted advertising based on content viewing if you do so. You can also opt out of Samba TV web and app-based interest-based advertising with these steps:

Web browsers

You can opt out of Samba using your web browsing information for interest-based or personalized advertising by visiting or Follow the instructions on the screen.

Mobile devices

According to Samba TV, limiting ad tracking on your mobile device is the most effective and up-to-date method.

Here’s how to do that:

For An apple:

iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch – Go to Settings > Privacy and security > Apple ad > Toggle “Personalized ads” to off.

For Android:

(Note: Instructions may vary depending on your make and model.)

android phones – Basically on an Android gadget you can go to Settings > Google > advertisements > switch “Opting out of ad personalization” to On. You can also reset your gadget’s advertising ID on this page.

Your other options

A few other simple options may be impractical, such as disconnecting your smart devices from the Internet. This renders gadgets that rely on an internet connection, such as smart speakers or web features on smart TVs, useless and may not be a viable option for most people.

If you feel that the convenience of having these smart gadgets isn’t worth the privacy implications, then it’s your choice to keep them out of your home.

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Yes, your smart TV is spying on you – Here’s how to stop it