The Apple TV and Apple TV+ provided the best privacy among streaming hardware and services, though some of its policies aren’t entirely transparent, according to a new report.
Nonprofit organization Common Sense Media recently published a report detailing the privacy of both streaming apps and devices, ranking each service and hardware device on a number of criteria — including whether they sell data, serve targeted ads, or create a profile of viewers.
Both the Apple TV devices and the Apple TV+ streaming service had high levels of privacy compared to rivals like Google TV, Amazon Fire TV, Roku Streaming Stick+, and Nvidia Shield TV, according to the report.
Apple received a 79% privacy rating for its hardware set-top box because of its data collection policy. The Apple TV box was also the only streaming device to receive a “pass” rating, while all other services had a “warning” rating attached to them.
However, Common Sense Media points out that Google TV actually had the highest overall privacy rating — 81% — because “Google TV had a more transparent policy despite engaging in some worse privacy practices.” Google TV received a “warning” and not a pass.
The nonprofit organization points out that Apple doesn’t “provide any information about how they protect student data privacy if these product is used in K-12 schools and districts.”
Apple’s streaming service, Apple TV+, also received a 79% and a “pass” rating by Common Sense Media. The organization says that’s because it’s the only streaming service with “privacy built-in by design.” Like with its hardware, Apple did not receive the highest numerical score because it doesn’t detail student data privacy.
As far as other streaming services, Netflix actually received the worse score with 46%. That’s because it targets users with advertisements and tracks them across other apps and services. Hulu came in second-to-last with 53% because it sold user data, tracks users, and targets ads.
As with the Google TV, YouTube TV ranked highest numerically but still had a “warning” rating. In third place was Disney+ with a 68% privacy rating. Common Sense Media says that’s because it sells user data, targets users with ads, and tracks users.