Nvidia has made your GPU the newest spying device in your PC
The newest Windows driver update from graphics silicon manufacturer nVidia comes with more than just game optimizations and bug-fixes (and disappointingly little of those at that.) If you have an nVidia GPU in your pc, (and you more than likely do, according to marketshare data) and updated your driver recently, then you have one more company collecting behavioral data on you via telemetry. The story broke earlier this month via Major Geeks’, Timothy Tibbetts, but got drowned out in the crush of election coverage.
Nvidia adds telemetry to basic drivers
According to Tibbetts, the telemetry elements of the driver are installed on the host system whether you use nVidia’s controversial “Geforce Experience” software, that was lambasted recently for requiring a social media login to use hardware features of the associated device, or not. Due to the proprietary nature of the driver, it is difficult to tell exactly what info it collects and calls home to nVidia about, but the fact that a low level system driver from a major graphics processor manufacturer is constantly calling home about anything is troubling, and yet not unexpected in the wake of Microsoft’s old-OS lockouts on new silicon from Intel and AMD. Nvidia has declined to comment on the issue as of the time of writing. But as Tibbetts states in his exposé article:
“We’d like to know what it’s doing in our video drivers when it’s never been needed before.”
For those stuck with nVidia parts in their systems, there is a temporary fix, Described by Tibbetts in the original piece linked above. For privacy concerned system builders and computer enthusiasts, Linux and AMD GPUs have never looked better, and Running a sandboxed and isolated Win10 vm for the few things you still need it for seems a lot more worth the effort. Expect more comprehensive coverage as the situation develops.