The Android TV Privacy Setting You Should Turn Off Right Now

Smart TVs use what is known as ACR, or automatic content recognition, to track what it is that you're watching in order to target you with recommendations or ads in the future. It tries to recognize anything you watch on your TV, no matter what route you're streaming content through. This data is then collected and saved to create a profile of your watching habits. ACR wasn't very well-known until Vizio settled a case for $2.2 million to the Federal Trade Commission and the state of New Jersey for collecting this data without people's consent, as explained by Consumer Reports

Most TVs allow you to turn off ACR somewhere in the settings. On Google Android TV, things are a bit more complicated because the smart TV doesn't use ACR, but other methods of collecting data instead. So, this makes it more difficult to find and turn off. In order to use the Google Android TV, you must accept the terms of service, as there's no other option there. However, there is still an option in the settings to block your Android TV from gathering and collecting your TV usage data.

How to turn off data collection

In order to prevent your Android TV from collecting data from you, there is a way to turn it off. You can do this from the settings on your TV by following these steps (via CNET.) 

1. In "Settings," scroll down to "Personal."

2. Go to "Usage and Diagnostics."

3. Turn the switch to "off" to ensure your data is not being tracked. 

You can also go to to see what data Google is saving about you. You'll be able to manage some data tracking here to control what Google can and can't collect about you. Some of these include web and app activity, location history, and history on YouTube. You can turn all of these off, as well as delete your activity. 

This information can be used to send you advertisements that target you or others who are using your TV. It's also used to determine recommendations for you while you're using your Android TV