NVIDIA Adds Telemetry to Latest Drivers

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DarkKnightDude

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Mar 10, 2011
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http://www.majorgeeks.com/news/story/nvidia_adds_telemetry_to_latest_drivers_heres_how_to_disable_it.html

"It's been brought to our attention that nVIDIA now has telemetry included with its drivers (most likely) if you installed GeForce Experience with the drivers. I'm getting conflicting reports whether it's specific to GeForce Experience or not. Regardless, it also continues the bloat further with nVIDIA Wireless Controller and ShadowPlay services, something many don't need.

First, let's go over what these are.
Telemetry is essentially considered spying by many as it is a way to send data back and forth. It's nowhere near that simple, but we'd like to know what it's doing in our video drivers when it's never been needed before.
nVIDIA Wireless Controller requires you have, you guessed it, a nVIDIA Wireless Controller.
ShadowPlay is a way to capture and record gameplay."


They listed a way to disable it in the majorgeeks article if you don't want it. Now maybe you're like, surely this is just for collecting driver crash reports right?

Maybe not. From reddit.

Nvidia Privacy Policy (which covers their drivers and software).
http://www.nvidia.com/object/privacy_policy.html

"When you use our Services, we may collect "Personal information," which is any information that can be used to identify a particular individual which can include traditional identifiers such as name, address, e-mail address, telephone number and non-traditional identifiers such as unique device identifiers and Internet Protocol (IP) addresses....

We may from time to time share your Personal Information with our business partners, resellers, affiliates, service providers, consulting partners and others in order to provide our Services to you.

We also permit third party online advertising networks and social media companies to collect information about your use of our website over time so that they may play or display ads that may be relevant to your interests ...

We may combine personal information that we collect about you with the browsing and tracking information collected by these technologies. We or the online advertising networks use this information to make the advertisements you see online more relevant to your interests."

Also apparently from this thread. CanardPC Hardware discovered that as of driver 368.25, Nvidia was collecting your information and transmitting it (without encryption) if you had Geforce Experience installed.

However since then it looks like there have been some changes, now all users have the NvTmMon process, and if you are using Geforce Experience 3 Nvidia has your email address or facebook account in addition.


The article states:
"A detailed description of your hardware is sent a few minutes later to gfe.nvidia.com/getsugar. This description includes: brand and model of your motherboard, serial number, BIOS version, information regarding USB drives currently plugged, RAM capacity, GPU frequency, etc....

GeForce Experience will communicate the software you use (not only games), when you use it, for how long...

record where you click on the various utilities provided and how long you stay on each page. Almost 100Ko of information, along with Google trackers, are sent to Nvidia.

This is clearly a breach of your privacy. Nvidia's privacy policy does not mention these activities in the French version, only in the English one."


Am I over-reacting here? It looks like personal data mining here to me. Hardware vendors should not be doing this. Even if I'm completely wrong shouldn't users get an option to opt out of this?
 

Justinus

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Oct 10, 2005
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This is a non issue for me, I literally never have installed the GeForce Experience on my PC. It was already a slow, bloated piece of crapware that did nothing useful for me.

Hopefully nvidia learns their lesson when suddenly the majority of PC gamers uninstall it and their sample set size drops like a rock.
 

hardhat

Senior member
Dec 4, 2011
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This is honestly disgusting to me, and why I dropped the GeForce experience app when it started to require creating accounts and log in information. The only reason they will get away with this is because AMD isn't competitive at the $300-$500 range at the moment, and because of brand recognition. I regret buying my 1070 and will switch back to AMD if they have something equivalent next time I upgrade.
 

Qwertilot

Golden Member
Nov 28, 2013
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seems pointless.

unless they fired all their testers and now we're doing it for them.
Definitely not pointless - they cannot possibly begin to test on the same scale, or the same variety as the installed user base for their video cards offers.
 

Runequest2

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Jun 14, 2000
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I deleted the update in my Geforce experience which stops the update to 3.0 for now. Guessing I am going to uninstall the program since I do not really want to have yet another thing I need to log into just to get driver updates.
 

SlickR12345

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Jan 9, 2010
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www.clubvalenciacf.com
I deleted the update in my Geforce experience which stops the update to 3.0 for now. Guessing I am going to uninstall the program since I do not really want to have yet another thing I need to log into just to get driver updates.
They've added telemetry in their drivers too. So its worthless if you uninstall GeForce experience, but use Nvidia drivers. So yeah, unless you are okay with giving Nvidia all your personal information and them using it and selling it and 3rd parties further selling it, I'm afraid you'll have to use older drivers forever.
 
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Spjut

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Apr 9, 2011
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I would think it's ok if it were just replacing bug reports, but I hate when it comes to collecting personal information and sharing it with others. And the way it has been added silently just brings more distrust.
 

Runequest2

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Jun 14, 2000
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I tend to keep my drivers a bit behind anyway unless I see the need to update in the games I play so I should be ok for now.

I guess my only option is to manually see if I can delete the telemetry after drivers are installed.

I will admit this might get me to start looking at radeon cards going forward assuming they do not also do this.
 

Justinus

Platinum Member
Oct 10, 2005
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They've added telemetry in their drivers too. So its worthless if you uninstall GeForce experience, but use Nvidia drivers. So yeah, unless you are okay with giving Nvidia all your personal information and them using it and selling it and 3rd parties further selling it, I'm afraid you'll have to use older drivers forever.
Unless the OP's information is wrong, I have no NvTmMon process installed or running on my computer. I did a fresh W10 install a week ago with the latest drivers sans the useless GFE.
 

Yakk

Golden Member
May 28, 2016
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That is disgusting.

Between nvidia, razor, and Microsoft your PC may as well be a phone now with all the telemetry being sent out.

Wow, AMD should capitalize on this and issue a formal statement saying they do not, and will not collect telemetry information.
 

Final8ty

Golden Member
Jun 13, 2007
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shankly1985;30183038 said:
That is just site monitoring LOL
Sure AMD will monitor what drivers are getting downloaded, What version of Windows for example is more people download them for.

We collect several kinds of information from you, depending on the part of the Site being visited. For example,

We collect personal information from you when you register for a forum or newsletter - So they know my Email address and password I used to Register nothing out the norm there.

download products such as drivers, register products with Us - Just normal monitoring of products and services

create a user name and password, provide feedback, send email enquiries or participate in another part of the Site.

Nothing out the norm there either.

Now lets look at the difference with Nvidia!

The software is sitting there on your PC monitoring and sending information without you even knowing about it LOL How is me going onto a AMD site once to download a driver worst? When you have these Geforce always running!!!

Read the Reddit, it monitors and sends information on Websites and system information

According to the article
a detailed description of your hardware is sent a few minutes later to gfe.nvidia.com/getsugar. This description includes: brand and model of your motherboard, serial number, BIOS version, information regarding USB drives currently plugged, RAM capacity, GPU frequency, etc....
GeForce Experience will communicate the software you use (not only games), when you use it, for how long...
record where you click on the various utilities provided and how long you stay on each page. Almost 100Ko of information, along with Google trackers, are sent to Nvidia.
This is clearly a breach of your privacy. Nvidia's privacy policy does not mention these activities in the French version, only in the English one.

(1) Identifying what games you play and what hardware you use, and then positioning themselves as the advertising middle-man for targeted ads inserted into the GeForce experience. They might be planning an F2P ad-sponsored gaming platform, which they can sell to both game developers ("you have an ARPG; we can deliver 100,000 players who regularly play those games") or for advertisers ("we can insert your ad into the games of 100,000 players").
(2) Monitoring your activities in great detail, selling that information outright to game developers ("we can give you extremely detailed information, even including Facebook data, about the types of people who play the game you're offering or planning to develop").
(3) Monitoring user data, and then using that data as competitive leverage ("collectively, GeForce 1080 users spent 1,000,000 hours on your game last month - if you want your future games to be well-positioned for our user base, you'll incorporate Nvidia-specific marketing or technical features and refrain from supporting AMD...")(1) Identifying what games you play and what hardware you use, and then positioning themselves as the advertising middle-man for targeted ads inserted into the GeForce experience. They might be planning an F2P ad-sponsored gaming platform, which they can sell to both game developers ("you have an ARPG; we can deliver 100,000 players who regularly play those games") or for advertisers ("we can insert your ad into the games of 100,000 players").
(2) Monitoring your activities in great detail, selling that information outright to game developers ("we can give you extremely detailed information, even including Facebook data, about the types of people who play the game you're offering or planning to develop").
(3) Monitoring user data, and then using that data as competitive leverage ("collectively, GeForce 1080 users spent 1,000,000 hours on your game last month - if you want your future games to be well-positioned for our user base, you'll incorporate Nvidia-specific marketing or technical features and refrain from supporting AMD...")
https://forums.overclockers.co.uk/showpost.php?p=30183038&postcount=31
 

Piroko

Senior member
Jan 10, 2013
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Definitely not pointless - they cannot possibly begin to test on the same scale, or the same variety as the installed user base for their video cards offers.
So, can you name any reason how anonymized data collection isn't exactly equal to non-anonymized data collection? Because that's the big deal I see here, non-anonymized data collection with full rights to resell them and apparently not even opt-out possible.

Honestly, I think this should blow up in the press and Nvidia should backpedal on that one. I don't see any way how this gets us a better user experience apart from customized ads (lol).

Wrong license agreement, that's just the website. Here's the EULA:
http://support.amd.com/en-us/download/eula

To help AMD improve Your graphics experience, AMD may collect non-personal information, including the model of AMD graphics product, its device id, and other system information.
Notice the difference in who will get access to that data? No reselling and no bundling it to other services. Not anonymized either though, so still not great. edit: Derp, read wrong, non-personal = anonymised. So, I have no problem with that EULA.
 
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Carfax83

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Nov 1, 2010
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Much ado about nothing.. Telemetry isn't inherently bad. It could be logging information for driver crashes or errors. As for Geforce Experience, that software is mostly for noobies that need help with PC gaming. Gaming has been transitioning over to a service oriented model for years now, and NVidia is getting in on it with their Geforce Experience software..
 

zinfamous

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Jul 12, 2006
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Honestly, I think this should blow up in the press and Nvidia should backpedal on that one. I don't see any way how this gets us a better user experience apart from customized ads (lol).
Like you, rather than simply fragging enemies through GoW4 and running across a big but boring Pepsi billboard in the background that simply says, "Drink Pepsi!", I'd much rather it say, "Drink Pepsi, zinfamous!"

:D
 
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zinfamous

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Jul 12, 2006
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Much ado about nothing.. Telemetry isn't inherently bad. It could be logging information for driver crashes or errors. As for Geforce Experience, that software is mostly for noobies that need help with PC gaming. Gaming has been transitioning over to a service oriented model for years now, and NVidia is getting in on it with their Geforce Experience software..
Again, this is about the drivers, not just this "GeForce experience" whatsit. And this isn't anonomized information as typical "driver crashing" information would be. The only solutions here (until nVidia wisely steps this back), would be to refuse driver updates or manually go in to disable telemetry settings every time you update to new game ready drivers (apparently wccf article up there mentioned a method about how to do it).

I think you would be best served to read what this is about before further commenting. ;)
 

Carfax83

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Nov 1, 2010
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Again, this is about the drivers, not just this "GeForce experience" whatsit. And this isn't anonomized information as typical "driver crashing" information would be. The only solutions here (until nVidia wisely steps this back), would be to refuse driver updates or manually go in to disable telemetry settings every time you update to new game ready drivers (apparently wccf article up there mentioned a method about how to do it).

I think you would be best served to read what this is about before further commenting. ;)
I checked using the method described in the WCCFtech article, and I do have the telemetry processes running even though I don't have GFE installed. Here's a screenshot:



As you can see, some of it relates to crashes and driver profile updates.. Until NVidia provides more specifics, I think we should hold off before deciding to get our pitchforks and torches out..

Like I said before, telemetry isn't inherently bad in and of itself. It can be used for good purposes as well..
 

Det0x

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Sep 11, 2014
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No new gfx driver updates for me until i get my Vega then :rolleyes:
 

hardhat

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Dec 4, 2011
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I didn't have the telemetry services running on Win 7 x64 using driver version 21.21.13.7270 (device manager ID). Like I said before, I got rid of GeForce experience when they tried to require login to install.
 

zinfamous

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Jul 12, 2006
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I checked using the method described in the WCCFtech article, and I do have the telemetry processes running even though I don't have GFE installed. Here's a screenshot:



As you can see, some of it relates to crashes and driver profile updates.. Until NVidia provides more specifics, I think we should hold off before deciding to get our pitchforks and torches out..

Like I said before, telemetry isn't inherently bad in and of itself. It can be used for good purposes as well..
I agree that telemetry isn't by default a bad thing, but this is from nVidia's own privacy policy, as posted in the OP:
When you use our Services, we may collect "Personal information," which is any information that can be used to identify a particular individual which can include traditional identifiers such as name, address, e-mail address, telephone number and non-traditional identifiers such as unique device identifiers and Internet Protocol (IP) addresses....

We may from time to time share your Personal Information with our business partners, resellers, affiliates, service providers, consulting partners and others in order to provide our Services to you.

We also permit third party online advertising networks and social media companies to collect information about your use of our website over time so that they may play or display ads that may be relevant to your interests ...

We may combine personal information that we collect about you with the browsing and tracking information collected by these technologies. We or the online advertising networks use this information to make the advertisements you see online more relevant to your interests."

Also apparently from this thread. CanardPC Hardware discovered that as of driver 368.25, Nvidia was collecting your information and transmitting it (without encryption) if you had Geforce Experience installed.
They rather specifically define personal data as name/address--actual identifiers--that they will then sell away (either nVidia just isn't comfortable enough with their glorious 60% margins, or they really are what most people say they are, while some simply don't care ;)). --this stands in contrast to the information also posted in this thread, regarding how AMD defines "personal information" as non-identifying.

Now, at the end of that statement, it does say that this information tracking was confirmed as being transmitted with GeForce Experience being installed. So, it's certainly collecting that information with drivers only, but it may or may not require GeForce Experience to have that data transmitted (at least--transmitted outside of nVidia)?
 
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