Research at Princeton University shows that connected smart TVs load a large number of tracking programs. If you use devices like Roku or Amazon Fire, there are many companies that can build a relatively comprehensive picture of what you are watching. Arvind Narayanan, an associate professor of computer science at Princeton, and colleagues developed a robotic program that automatically installed thousands of channels on Roku and Amazon Fire. It then simulates human behavior to browse and watch videos, and it tracks behind-the-scenes data collection as it plays.
Information such as device type, city, etc. is not unique to the user, but the device serial number, Wi-Fi, and advertising ID can be tracked to the individual. Some channels even send unencrypted email addresses and video titles to the tracker.
The study found trackers on 69% of Roku channels and 89% of Amazon Fire channels, many of which are well-known companies such as Google. 89% of Roku channels have discovered Google’s advertising service, DoubleClick.