Monday, November 7, 2016

Naughty Nvidia is installing tracking software without your knowledge...

2016-11-18 Update: The Game Ready Driver 375.86 left these items disabled when doing a custom update via GeForce Experience, doing an Express Install re-enabled the tasks.

2016-11-11 Update: So I just had a GeForce Experience update roll though ( which re-enabled all of the telemetry tasks. So I can confirm that GeForce Experience Updates will also require you to follow the steps here to disable.

End Updates

So put on your tinfoil hats ladies and gentlemen, thanks to a Reddit post over the weekend, it appears we now have learned that Nvidia is installing telemetry processes (aka tracking) in it's latest drivers, this is without your permission or knowledge, and even a custom install doesn't allow for the option to be removed/disabled.

This appears to be added to every Nvidia user as of 375.70 version of the drivers, though it may have been collecting since 368.25 if you had GeForce Experience 3.x installed. *yikes*

Now from what I've seen in my limited capture tests the data being sent doesn't appear to be anything personally identifiable, but as we already know thanks to Snowden revelations, just because the company that creates the tracker doesn't mean you any ill will doesn't mean others aren't interested in using telemetry data for their own nefarious purposes.

While the beacon of Gaming Journalistic Integrity (tm), PC Gamer has quickly ran to Nvidia's defense (and given their Geforce Software a 99 score, not really, but it sounds funny) I'll leave it up to you to decide if you want to disable the software just to be safe.

Expand this post to learn how to disable.

Here is how to disable:

  • Open Task Scheduler (Search - Task Scheduler or find it your Administrative Tools)
  • Expand Task Scheduler Library 
  • Find and Select the following 3 scheduled tasks:
    • NvTmMon_{B2FE1952-0186-46C3-BAEC-A80AA35AC5B8} - (NVIDIA telemetry monitor)
    • NvTmRep_{B2FE1952-0186-46C3-BAEC-A80AA35AC5B8} - (NVIDIA crash and telemetry reporter)
    • NvTmRepOnLogon_{B2FE1952-0186-46C3-BAEC-A80AA35AC5B8} - (Nvidia Profile Updater)

  • Right Click, then Left Click Disable
Bear in mind, that updating your drivers (or reinstalling them), as well as updating GeForce Experience turns this back on *confirmed* - so don't forget to go back in and disable at every update, that is until Nvidia comes to it's senses and allows users to disable the Telemetry using a custom install.

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