Smart TVs use ACR, or automatic content recognition, to track what you’re watching in order to target you with recommendations or advertisements in the future. It tries to recognize anything you watch on your TV, regardless of how you’re streaming content. This information is then collected and saved in order to create a profile of your viewing habits. According to Consumer Reports, ACR wasn’t well-known until Vizio paid the Federal Trade Commission and the state of New Jersey $2.2 million to settle a case for collecting this data without people’s consent.
Most televisions have a setting that allows you to disable ACR. Things are a little more complicated on Google Android TV because the smart TV does not use ACR, but rather other methods of data collection. As a result, it is more difficult to locate and turn off. You must accept the terms of service in order to use the Google Android TV; there is no other option. However, there is still a setting option to prevent your Android TV from gathering and collecting data about your TV usage.
How to turn off data collection
There is a way to turn off your Android TV so that it does not collect data from you. You can do this from your TV’s settings by following these steps (via CNET.)
In “Settings,” scroll down to “Personal.”
Go to “Usage and Diagnostics.”
Turn the switch to “off” to ensure your data is not being tracked.
You can also visit myactivity.google.com to see what information Google has saved about you. You’ll be able to control what Google can and cannot collect about you by managing some data tracking here. Web and app activity, location history, and YouTube history are just a few examples. You can disable all of these features as well as delete your activity.
This information can be used to send you advertisements that are tailored to you or others who are watching TV on your behalf. It’s also used to make recommendations to you while you’re watching Android TV.