December 8, 2023

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Your TV is spying on you, but you can turn it off

Fun fact: Compaq’s first laptop shipped in 1983 and cost over $8,400 in today’s dollars. Wow, times have changed.

Your computer is still an important investment, and you want it to run well for years. Touch or click the five-minute fix to speed up your computer.

You don’t have to deal with the same kind of issues with your TV, but one of the common questions I get is the best way to wipe off fingerprints and dust. These are the wipes I buy over and over again. And These mini wipes are perfect for glasses, phone screens, and computer screens. love them.

Unfortunately, you have to think of tracking on your TV just like on your computer or phone. Keep reading to find out how you welcomed a spy into your living room — and what you can do about it.

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In this illustration photo taken on July 19, 2022, the Netflix logo is visible on a television remote control in Los Angeles.
(Chris Delmas/AFP via Getty Images)

Why are TVs so cheap?

Remember the day when a large flat screen TV was quite a luxury item?

Now, televisions come with a host of bells and whistles and smart features, and you can buy the best models for a fraction of the price. what gives?

It’s all about the data. You already know that your private information is worth big bucks. One way to stop greedy data brokers is to remove yourself from people search sites. Touch or click links and directions to get the job done.

Think of everything TV knows about you and your family. This data compensates for the low price of new TVs. Over time, this data farming makes back more money than you ever made on these groups.

Are you shopping for a TV? There are plenty of buzzwords and marketing terms out there to get you to spend more. Don’t fall for it. Here’s my shopping tip on what to skip and splurge on. Spoiler: Choose 4K, not 8K.

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Is it worth it? It depends

It’s hard to do much in the digital world without being tracked, monitored, or monetized in some way. Some people work hard to find ways around this, choosing to pay for extra privacy or use alternatives that focus on users, not data mining.

Tap or click for six alternatives to Google search.

Others raise their hands saying this is the price we pay for the free and cheap services and devices we depend on to run our lives.

I fall somewhere in the middle. Yes, there is some amount of tracking and data collection you have to swallow if you want to use anything from a smart assistant to your inbox.

But you don’t have to blindly agree to every collection method. There’s a lot you can do to get your privacy back as long as you’re willing to dig deeper into your device’s settings. Here are three quick privacy fixes you can do in two minutes.

When it comes to your TV, here’s where to start.

Televisions go on sale at a superstore on February 8, 2022 in Chicago.

Televisions go on sale at a superstore on February 8, 2022 in Chicago.
(Scott Olson/Getty Images/File)

Stop your TV from spying

Many smart TVs come with cameras that most people don’t realize exist. There is not much you can do without voiding the warranty of the device and removing it yourself. You can cover it up, but who wants electrical tape on their TV?

Start with your Smart TV’s tracking features – especially Automatic Content Recognition (ACR).

What is ACR and how do you turn it off? It is the visual recognition feature that can identify every commercial, TV show, or movie that you play on your TV. This includes streaming boxes, cable/over-the-air TV and even DVD and Blu-ray players.

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


On older Vizio TVs using Vizio Internet Apps (VIA), go to TVs System And then: Reset and charge > Intelligent interaction > turning off.

On Vizio Smart TVs using the newer SmartCast system, go to System > Reset and charge > Display data > Switch it to turning off.

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On newer Samsung groups, go to settings > the support > Scroll down to Terms policies. Here you can turn around turning off Display information services (Samsung’s ACR technology), online advertising (to track personalized ads), and voice recognition services.

On older Samsung Smart TVs, go to TVs Smart Hub menu > settings > the support > Find Terms and policy > Then Champions SyncPlus Marketing. You can disable voice recognition services in this section as well.

Keep in mind that turning off voice recognition services on your Samsung TV will disable its voice commands.


LG’s ACR technology is integrated into the latest Smart TVs running WebOS, known as LivePlus. To turn this off, go to settings > All settings > Scroll down to Public > Scroll down to the setting named Live Plus > Switch it to turning off.

To limit other forms of data collection on your LG Smart TV, refer to settings > All settings > Scroll down to Public > about this tv > User Agreements > Toggle personalized ads to turning off.

Do you have a Roku, Fire TV, Sony, TCL, or any brand? Tap or click here for steps to disable tracking on your TV.

More steps to keep your habits private

If you’re hoping to reduce the impact of big data on your viewing experience, here are more tips for you to try.

The Internet is a dangerous place. I can help you stay safe from hackers and scammers. Subscribe to our free daily tech newsletter.

Keep your technical knowledge going

My popular podcast is called “Kim Commando today. It’s 30 minutes of tech news, tips, and callers with tech questions like you from all over the country. Find it anywhere you get your podcasts. For your convenience, click on the link below for a recent episode.

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Plus, teens are diagnosing serious illnesses they found on TikTok, getting better sleep with these podcasts, and signing off that your phone or computer is infected with a keyboard recorder. Oh guys, stop putting your smartphone in your pants pocket!

Check out my podcast “Kim Commando Today” on an AppleAnd Google PodcastAnd Spotifyor your favorite podcast player.

Listen to the podcast here Or wherever you get your podcasts. Just look up my last name, “Commando”.

Get more technical knowledge Kim Commando ShowIt is broadcast on over 425 radio stations and is available as a file Podcast. Sign up for Kim’s free 5-Minute Morning Report For the latest security breaches and tech news. need help? Leave your question to Kim here.

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