It came to light this week that NVIDIA has started sending information about your machine back to HQ via its graphics drivers. While this is kind-of true, it’s not the full story, as Steve Burke of Gamers Nexus recently discovered.
Firstly, the data collection is a part of the GeForce Experience, not the normal GeForce drivers. So if you’re not using the former, you don’t have anything to worry about.
Secondly, the information gathered by NVIDIA is fairly standard stuff, considering the purpose of the program is to “optimise” games for your specific setup.
Burke fired up Wireshark to inspect the traffic flowing from NVIDIA’s telemetry software and found it sent the following data:
- GPU specification & vendor
- GPU clock speed / overclocks
- Monitor and display resolution
- Driver settings for specific games (e.g. G-Sync toggling, type of anti-aliasing used)
- Resolution, quality settings for specific games
- Games and applications installed (e.g. Origin, Steam, Counter-Strike: GO, Overwatch)
- Memory capacity
- CPU specification
- BIOS revision and motherboard
Burke goes on to state that the “data which is shared appears to be purely functional for GFE” and that if you’re upset about it, you should probably be just as angry at Origin, Steam and countless other programs of a similar nature.
That’s not to say privacy isn’t important; you’re free to uninstall GeForce Experience or disable its telemetry services. But, if you just wanted to make sure it wasn’t sending your banking passwords or porn history to some NVIDIA database, it’s all good.
Originally published on Lifehacker Australia.