Warning: *privacy not included with this product
Roku Streaming Sticks
Roku is the streaming TV device company that focuses solely on streaming TV. From their streaming sticks to connected soundbars to their Roku TVs, they give you lots of "channels" in their app store—everything from standards like Netflix and Hulu, to YuppTV for those can't miss south Asian channels and FunimationNow for the anime lovers. News, weather, sports, classic cartoons, Bollywood HD and Pokémon TV. Roku has something for everyone. They also seem to collect lots of data so they can target ads for everyone too.
What could happen if something goes wrong?
Roku’s data sharing is vast, which is, unfortunately, too common in the streaming TV space. Automatic Content Recognition or ACR is the way Roku and others try to identify every show you watch whether it be streaming, cable, broadcast on an antenna, or even the DVDs you watch. They collect all this data to target you with new shows, and allow you to be targeted with lots of ads from lots of places. It’s a lot of data collection and you should opt out. Note when you opt out of ACR, a Roku spokewoman said, “Opting out of ACR does not affect collection of information about the use of Roku streaming channels.” So yeah, they’re still collecting data on you, just a little less. Consumer Reports also recommends you take the time to do things like opt out of allowing Roku to access the microphone on your Roku remote control or your mobile device for voice-activated features.
All in all, Roku collects a lot of data and uses that data to sell a lot of ads and target a lot of content your way. Is this the end of the world for your privacy? Not likely, but the use of ACR and such to collect as much data on you as they possibly can feels kinda gross. We warn this product likely comes with *privacy not included.
What can be used to sign up?
What data does the company collect?
Name, email, phone number, address, date of birth, viewing habits
How does the company use this data?
How can you control your data?
What is the company’s known track record of protecting users’ data?
No known incidents in the last 3 years.
Can this product be used offline?
User-friendly privacy information?
Links to privacy information
Does this product meet our Minimum Security Standards?
There is a password for a Roku account but no password is required to use a Roku device once it’s set up.
Is this AI untrustworthy?
What kind of decisions does the AI make about you or for you?
Roku uses Automatic Content Recognition (ACR) to track what you are watching on TV. They use this information to help advertisers target you more accurately. You can disable this feature, but it is on by default.
Is the company transparent about how the AI works?
Does the user have control over the AI features?
Got a comment? Let us hear it.