NVIDIA’s Telemetry in GeForce Drivers
Here is a topic related to NVIDIA that became hot this weekend. It’s about NVIDIA and telemetry functions added in their latest graphics drivers (starting from R368.25). According to MajorGeeks (the first article on this topic), the telemetry functions are related to the GeForce Experience (GFE) utility (GFE allows to keep your NVIDIA drivers up to date and optimize your games).
Gamers Nexus has monitored with Wireshark GFE transactions. The first conclusion is that NVIDIA does nothing special and does not collect personal data like name or email. GFE data collection essentially includes hardware-level information.
For me, the most interesting part in this story is not the data sent or not sent by NVIDIA driver, but simply the discovery of a tool called Autoruns and how you can use it, if you are a bit paranoiac, to disable NVIDIA telemetry. Autoruns is a tool developed by the author of Process Explorer. Autoruns shows you what programs are configured to run during system bootup or login.
Here is what Autoruns shows me on my dev system with R375.70:
To disable NVIDIA’s telemetry, launch Autoruns (Autoruns.exe or Autoruns64.exe) with admin rights, filter entries with nvidia keyword (filter box), and uncheck all entries that start with NvTm:
I never install GFE on my dev system when I install a new NV driver, and telemetry functions are there all the same. And what about this process: NVIDIA user experience driver component? Related to GFE?
References and more links
- NVIDIA Adds Telemetry to Latest Drivers; Here’s How to Disable It @ majorgeeks
- NVIDIA Adds Telemetry to Latest Drivers; Here’s How to Disable It @ reddit
- Analyzing GeForce Experience Data Transfers with Packet Monitoring @ gamersnexus
- Nvidia’s telemetry monitor is not spying on you @ pcgamers
- Nvidia has added Telemetry to their Windows drivers, has the same been done to the Linux drivers? @ reddit
NVIDIA, The Way It’s Meant to be Spied 😉