TVs Watch Us Back

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This is not a conspiracy theory, it’s really real and it has been for some time now.

But in case you didn’t realize what’s going on, here’s one good example:
Vizio makes nearly as much money from ads and data as it does from TVs

It’s not just Vizio, it’s pretty much all TVs produced in the last 5 or so years that do this. Five years from now, it will likely be impossible to find a television that doesn’t do this. If we’re even watching televisions by then.

Chances are some people (like my mother-in-law) still will be. She’s got two Vizio TVs now, and one of them is almost always on. I was first alerted to the fact that these devices were sending about as much information as they receive when I first looked at the logs from my Pi-hole. Since then I’ve had to exempt her devices from the ad-blocking because…she likes ads, I guess?

In any case, you can follow the process detailed here to remove most of the spy features on your Visio “Smart” TV, and most manufacturers have a similar kind of opt-out — though you often have to hunt for it! Check their Privacy Policy if you can’t find it, they have to list it in there.

Here’s the quickie version for your Visio TV. As you can see it’s not that hard to turn off.
  1. Press the MENU button on your TV’s remote.
  2. Select System.
  3. Select Reset & Admin.
  4. Highlight Viewing Data.
  5. Press RIGHT arrow to change setting to Off.

I think turning this stuff off is a really smart thing to do for EVERY smart device. Don’t you?

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