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Articles Expertise

Here's The Ranking's For EVERY Privacy Policy for Streaming Media Devices

The Medium is the Message

As troubles in the economy churn on, people are changing the way they watch TV these days. Per usual, convenience and cost are traded for a bit of your privacy. Gone is the hefty cable subscription, especially for the spendthrift millennial. Hulu subscriptions are cheap (about $7 a month) and “Netflix & Chill” is every bit a cultural reference of a generation. (If you don’t mind paying cable, however, we’ve found DirectTV seems to give you the most privacy as a provider. That's rare these days!) People don’t just click “On” on their remote anyone and just still flipping through a vast array of broadcast and cable channels like they used to. Being cheap takes a little more work to get content off the Internet from your subscription or video platform to play on your TV.

The Alternative to Cable TV

That workaround is called a set-top box or streaming media device and they are becoming more and more common. You can take video from YouTube, Hulu, Netflix, etc. on your phone or computer and stream or “cast” it to your TV! They are so many different streaming devices to choose from, and just being a smart consumer with privacy in mind for your TV, we want you to make good choices. Every set has a slightly different privacy policy on what they can collect regarding your watching habits. Now, every TV as an appliance also has different options regarding their privacy settings. As we reported in a previous post, Vizio just got in trouble with their shady practices of turning on the tracking by default and pairing your IP address with your viewing habits so that advertisers can market things to you on your other devices with that privileged information. In addition, most Smart TVs these days offer streaming apps built-in. They’re the worst,  if you’re concerned about privacy, do not use them! Privacy advocates recommend using a receiver because it blocks and fragments your array of data.

The Best of the Privacy Policy

Sort of surprisingly, Apple TV is the best of the bunch! It allows you to limit or disable most of the collection data settings and doesn’t need to be connected to the Internet to work. For Google Chrome Cast, it shouldn’t be a surprise that it tracks you to a degree. However, it’s not as bad as you’d think! You can opt out of plenty of stuff and adjust your privacy settings even further – and it’s affordable. It’s a little dongle that plugs into the back of your TV. Amazon Firestick, a similar product, is on par with the Chrome Cast as far as privacy settings. Amazon says it doesn’t share your habits with third parties. Hmm, it doesn’t have to, because, like Google, it can advertise its products to you from their own superstore! But I reckon that’s why it’s so cheap – because they’re getting something back from you as the consumer.

Medium/Average privacy

Now, for the gaming consoles: Microsoft makes Xbox and Kinect and Sony’s PlayStation are alarmingly on-par with each other as far as being medium-level bad with data collection. They don’t state anywhere that you can opt out and they BOTH have binding arbitration clauses that say you can’t sue them later for collecting data on you. If I were you, I’d have a CreepBlocker decal on those webcams – just in case, and I’ll tell you why: Once I noticed the ominous blue light on mine, like it was recording me without my knowledge! That day definitely helped my resolve to develop easy-to-use webcam covers for everyone!

Poor privacy

Lastly, we have Roku, which ranks dead last in terms of privacy. I wouldn’t recommend this device. Our advice for all of these devices is to only be connected to the Internet for firmware updates and then disconnect again.

Lastly, when it comes to privacy, we always highly recommend our Creepblockers to put on all your device cameras and laptop/computer microphones. 

Stay Safe & Be Well, 

XO Tech Wellness Tribe

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1. Best Air Tube Headphones for EMF Protection in 2022 • Earbuds with Incredible Sound 2. Cat 8 EMF Protection Ethernet Cable Hardwire For Fastest Internet Speed 3. Who Knew? Use iPhone Online with NO EMF, No WiFi. These Dongles Let You Browse, Use a Messaging App, Email and Scoll With NO Radiation! 4. Cross Body Leather Phone Case With EMF Protection: Our Exclusive AUGUST Crossbody Faraday Bag--Stylish Radiation Protection, RFID Credit Card Slots, Plus A Place For Your Essentials 5. Super Power EMF Detector! All NEW Safe Sound II EMF Meter 6. The Hard Wire KIT! Turn Off WiFI. Connect All Devices To The Internet--Phones laptops, tablets All EMF-Free! 7. What is Blue Light? Save On The New Tech Wellness Blue Light Blocking Bundle! Three Glasses To Cover All Kinds Of Blue Light 8. Privacy Is Beautiful. The Secret Keeper Password Log Tops Our Best Gift List 9. Jet Black Pack: Anti-EMF Headphones, Phone Stand, Stylus & Adapter 10. A Place to Charge Your Phone •Beautiful, Organized and Safe 11. Cable and Cord Tamers in Soft Stretchy Silicone 12. De-Stress Dough. Relax And Play. Digital Detox For Mind, Body and Soul 13. Our Fav New Screen Wipes! Clean Glasses, Laptops, Phones and Tablets- 14. The All Device Charging Cord- USB-C • Lightning • Micro USB All In One! 15. Big Folding Desk For Computer Time That Keeps Your Hands, Neck And Eyes Comfy On Your Computer And Ships FREE! 16. Soft Pink Gift Set. Password Book•Webcam Cover•Stylus•Blue Block Glasses 17. The Sticky Screen Cleaner Cover Your Camera or stick to your computer- 18. The Birthday Wish That Shows You Really Care. I Remembered Your Birthday Without Social Media 19. Vintage Text Message Analog Greeting Card 20. Our Favorite Analog Greeting Cards. You're My Favorite Person To Text- 72 Times A Day! 21. A to Z Easy EMF Detox! Clear Your Home Of EMF Step By Step- Ruan Living’s Workbook and Checklists

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