How to restrict ad tracking on Roku, Fire TV, Apple TV and Chromecast
Most people don't think of being watched by set top boxes, streaming sticks or smart TVs. Here's how you can limit ad tracking on the most popular video streaming devices.
Most people don't think about being watched by a set top box, streaming stick or a smart TV. But like all other technologies in life today, Roku or other streaming devices collect and share user usage data.
User view activity is shared with Neilson as a basis for rating and application, as well as other activities used to build usage profiles, serving the purpose of advertising delivery. Here's how you can limit ad tracking on the most popular video streaming devices.
Limit ad tracking on Roku
Roku's security settings are the same on all its devices. So whether you have a Roku streaming stick, a set top box or a TV, go to Settings> Privacy> Advertising and check the 'Limit ad tracking' option . Once there, you may also want to rsset the advertising ID again. Doing so will prevent advertisers from building a profile of your usage and sending custom ads. This feature has the same concept as resetting advertising ID on Android or iOS.
Limit ad tracking on Apple TV
If you're running Apple TV 4th generation or later, go to Settings> General> Privacy and turn on the 'Limit Ad Tracking' option . If you are still using an old Apple TV, go to Settings> General and change the 'Send Data to Apple' option to No.
Limit ad tracking on Amazon Fire TV
Whether it's a Kindle Fire HD, Fire TV, or even an Echo device, Amazon loves to track users' activities so that it can serve customized ads. To turn off this feature on Fire TV, go to Settings> Preferences> Privacy Settings and turn off the 'Interest-based Ads' option .
In fact, this menu gives you the option to turn off other data collections such as Device and App Usage Data . Just turn it off. Amazon has certainly gathered enough data about you through website shopping and the use of other services.
Limit ad tracking on Google Chromecast
If you own a Chromecast, you can limit usage data sent to Google through the Home app . Launch it and select your Chromecast from the list of devices. Then go to Settings, then scroll down and turn off 'Send Chromecast device usage data and crash reports to Google' .
The technology that everyone has today is amazing and a lot of things are making life easier. But they also monitor everything you do and this is annoying. For example, Quantrimang.com shows you how to actually prevent Google from tracking your location, as well as how to play and delete voice recordings sent to your digital assistant.
Most people have accepted the fact that they have to give away some privacy to use the free services throughout the day. But at night, when people are trying to relax and enjoy their favorite movies and TV shows, no one wants to keep watching these activities.
And everything is not limited to streaming stick. Smart TVs - such as Vizio, LG, Sony or Samsung - also monitor your usage. You can turn off or limit the tracking, but each model will have different implementation. Check the manual for your specific model or just browse the TV menu. For example, on Vizio, browse the menu and turn off the 'Smart Interactivity' option . But if your smart TV is powered by Google, Roku or Fire TV Edition, you can turn off the tracking feature using the steps outlined above.
But it's important to note that when you turn off ad tracking on your streaming device, it will notify providers like Netflix or Amazon that you don't want to be tracked anymore, but don't. There is no guarantee that it will come true, because either Roku or Apple cannot force other parties to do so. This situation is very similar to the Do Not Track feature that all web browsers have applied. You can enable it, but a website doesn't necessarily respect that requirement.
However, there is more than nothing. Unless you absolutely don't use anything, the fight against being watched will be a constant struggle. But if you want to keep your online activity as private as possible, it's worth disabling the default ad tracking behavior of streaming devices.
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