Worried Your Smart TV Is Spying On You? Here’s What To Do


With the recent WikiLeaks revelation that the government could spy on Americans through our smart TVs, suddenly that internet connectivity that was so exciting two years ago is looking a bit creepy to a lot of people.

But the good news is that there are some things you can do if you’re concerned and still be able to watch Netflix.


“Kind of scary”

Ann Shepherd loves watching her big-screen TV, but now says it’s “kind of scary.”

She doesn’t like the idea of the government, or even the TV manufacturer, knowing what she’s watching.

“I take my privacy very serious, and I really don’t appreciate someone spying on me,” she said.

She’s so concerned that when she wants to watch Netflix or other streaming content, she uses her Blu-Ray player that can be turned off.

“No, my TV isn’t even connected to the internet at all. All my internet functions go through my old Blu-Ray player,” she said.

All this is legal, as it turns out you allowed data collection on some smart TV’s when you agreed to the TV’s privacy policy during setup.

television photo
Getty Images | Justin Sullivan

What you can do

If you’re concerned with what your TV might be recording or sharing, the best thing to do is get into the TV’s settings.

Consumer Reports recently posted a helpful story showing how to disable sharing features on most major brands.

On an LG set, you need to go to “Options,” then “LivePlus,” then select “Off.” On some newer LG’s, it’s under “User Agreements.”

Have a Vizio? Look through settings until you see “Smart Interactivity.”

And with Samsung, go into the Smart Hub menu, where you can turn off a feature named “SyncPlus and Marketing.”

Some newer Samsungs have added “Voice Recognition,” which utilizes a built in microphone.  You can shut that off, too.