Smart TVs and their ability to monitor or track use and users have caused users to seek the ability to disable features that may infringe on personal privacy. While some TV’s can have this “snooping” disabled the most effective way to be sure that your Smart TV isn’t spying on you is to simply disconnect it from the internet whether its connection is wired or wireless. While this may seem extreme, it doesn’t mean you have to give up Netflix, Hulu, and other services. Streaming devices such as AppleTV, Amazon Fire TV, and Roku are better choices if privacy is a concern since they do not have the ability to track use and users.
Most all of Vizio's new TVs now use the Google-powered SmartCast system. To turn off Smart Interactivity, open the Vizio app on a mobile device, find Settings, and click on Reset & Admin. Now you can use the onscreen slider button to turn off the feature.
Older models, plus newer D-series sets, use Vizio Internet Apps (VIA). To disable, go to the System setting. In a menu called Reset & Admin, highlight Smart Interactivity and press the right arrow to disable the Automatic content recognition (ACR).
Please note that going forward this Smart Interactivity feature will be referred to as "Viewing Data."
On current new Samsung smart TV models:
Click the Settings icon in the main menu, look for Support, and then scroll down to Terms & Policies. There are several options, including Viewing Information Services, Voice Recognition Services, and Nuance Voice Recognition and Privacy Notices. You can choose not to accept any of them. Then disable the Internet-based Advertising feature. You can also turn off the voice-related services which will inhibit your use of voice-controlled functions with the TV, but you won't notice any difference when you simply opt out of "viewing information services."
On older Samsung smart TVs, the ACR controls are found under the TV's Smart Hub menu. Look for the icon for Settings, click on Support, and find the submenu titled Terms & Policy. Choose SyncPlus and Marketing, where there's an option to disable the feature. Turning off Voice Recognition Services will disable voice control, a feature that sends your voice commands to a third-party vendor for processing.
On LG's newer webOS TVs, click on the icon for Settings from the main menu, then scroll down until you see General. Look for the About This TV submenu, and click on User Agreements. There are three options to consider:
- Viewing Information
- Personal Advertising
- Voice Information.
You can choose to opt out of all of these features. Turning off the voice option will inhibit your use of voice-controlled features, but the other two options won't affect performance.
For older LG TVs, go to Settings, find Options, and then open LivePlus, LG's version of ACR. Once there, you can toggle the feature on and off.
LG TVs as of 2017 will have a LivePlus option in the menu that can be toggled on and off.
Other manufacturers may use similar descriptions and words to allow you to find and disable anything that concerns privacy. Check the owner’s manual and/or website for details.