NVIDIA's telemetry monitor isn't sharing your personal data

The company's EULA clarifies how the information is used, and it isn't nefarious.


Over the weekend, a Reddit post accused the telemetry monitor in the latest version of NVIDIA's GeForce Experience software of gathering personal data and sharing it for all the world to see. GeForce Experience delved pretty deep, going so far as to grab email addresses.

It turns out there's nothing illicit going on. A combination of NVIDIA's GeForce Experience FAQ and PC Gamer's breakdown of what's going on cleared up the issue.

"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," reads the company's privacy policy. NVIDIA goes on to say that "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."

However, that privacy policy is a general document not specific to GeForce Experience. GFE's FAQ explicitly states that the program "does not share any personally identifiable information outside the company. NVIDIA may share aggregate-level data with select partners, but does not share user-level data."

In this case, "aggregate-level data" refers to a collective of users rather than individuals. This clarification comes from Gamers Nexus, who reached out to NVIDIA for comment.

GFE collects data relevant to determining which drivers a user needs as well as optimal settings for applications spanning games, operating systems, and hardware. Any user signed into GFE submits that data to NVIDIA, but no personal information is shared.

The dustup gained enough traction—even spilling to the Shacknews Chatty forum—that NVIDIA issued a statement to set users at ease. "NVIDIA may share aggregate-level data with select partners, but does not share user-level data. The nature of the information collected has remained consistent since the introduction of GeForce Experience 1.0. The change with GeForce Experience 3.0 is that this error reporting and data collection is now being done in real-time."

Ultimately, sensitive information such as email addresses go no further than NVIDIA.

Long Reads Editor

David L. Craddock writes fiction, nonfiction, and grocery lists. He is the author of the Stay Awhile and Listen series, and the Gairden Chronicles series of fantasy novels for young adults. Outside of writing, he enjoys playing Mario, Zelda, and Dark Souls games, and will be happy to discuss at length the myriad reasons why Dark Souls 2 is the best in the series. Follow him online at davidlcraddock.com and @davidlcraddock.

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From The Chatty
  • reply
    November 7, 2016 1:20 PM

    David Craddock posted a new article, NVIDIA's telemetry monitor isn't sharing your personal data

    • reply
      November 7, 2016 1:22 PM

      Oh good, because the tinfoil I used to cover the GPU was causing it to overheat a bit.

    • reply
      November 7, 2016 1:23 PM

      yup according to the packet capture, here is the data collected.

      GFE is also collecting the following information:

      - 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

      • reply
        November 7, 2016 2:04 PM

        There were a few more:

        - 24 hour list of last websites accessed
        - 24 hour list of all keywords searched
        - 24 hour list of all incognito windows used, how many tabs were open, how long you were watching a Tube video, what search term you used to find the video and what filters you used to narrow onto the midget transvestite porn

        • reply
          November 7, 2016 2:47 PM

          Yeah I don't need my GPU vendor monitoring my web usage.

        • reply
          November 8, 2016 4:43 AM

          Yeah, I'd want to see proof of that.

    • reply
      November 7, 2016 2:39 PM

      It should be noted this was a 1 hour snaphot.

      • reply
        November 7, 2016 2:43 PM

        (so my erotic smurf fanfiction is still no safe)

    • P90 legacy 10 years
      November 7, 2016 9:48 PM

      Another turd to add to the steaming pile of crap that GeForce Experience 3.0 is.

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