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One final note: Even though you can opt out of these data-collection features, most smart TV manufacturers note that they'll still continue to receive some non-identifying information from your smart TV.This, they say, is needed to provide TV basic functions.Here are instructions on how to do that with Vizio, Samsung, and LG televisions, the leading brands in the U. Vizio has used more than one system for content recognition, but the feature's name has been consistent: Smart Interactivity.As of yesterday, Vizio's updated privacy policy for viewing data states that the capability has been disabled on its TVs.But unlike Vizio, those companies require people to nominally agree to the practice by clicking "OK" to a privacy policy during setup.Consumer Reports has been writing about this technology, which is often called automatic content recognition (ACR), since 2015, and since then it has only become more widespread.Look for the icon for Settings, click on Support, and find the submenu titled Terms & Policy.

On LG's newer web OS TVs, click on the icon for Settings from the main menu, then scroll down until you see General.

The company also collected data on users' Wi Fi networks and mobile devices that were linked wirelessly to the televisions.

(Our colleagues at the Consumerist have more details.) Other makers of internet-connected TVs, including Samsung and LG, track their users' viewing habits, too.

That's the backdrop to the news this week that Vizio has agreed to settle charges that it violated the law by using software in its "smart," internet-connected TVs to collect data on what users were watching, without permission.

The software told Vizio what consumers were playing on their TVs, whether it came from broadcast or cable channels, streaming services, DVD players, or other sources.

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