When Intel graphics drivers start collecting data without really asking for it

Written by Guillaume
Publication date: {{ dayjs(1692549413*1000).local().format("L").toString()}}
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There's nothing new under the sun: software companies are always looking to collect more of our data, but we don't know what they're going to do with it.

Whether we're talking about Apple or Microsoft, Adobe or Google, the issue of data collection has always been a sensitive one, and one that has always provoked an outcry. It has to be said that software is unique in that it can collect a great deal of information about its users in a very discreet way, taking advantage of the Internet connection to discreetly send this information back to its publishers. Recent history has been punctuated by a number of scandals, and we've probably not heard the last of them, even if today things are perhaps a little less revolting.

© TechPowerUp

Indeed, the TechPowerUp website highlights a problem linked to the release of recent versions of Intel's graphics drivers. For its ARC A750 and A770 boards in particular, Intel has regularly been praised for the quality of its follow-up: the American company has indeed been releasing one driver version after another since the release of the few models that signal its return to the dedicated graphics card market. Bug fixes, various optimizations and support for new features are at the heart of these updates, but has a small option activated by default. It's called the Compute Improvement Program. As the name suggests, it's designed to further improve support for Intel GPUs.

As always, it's hard to know what Intel is actually doing with this data. Intel does, however, put its cards on the table by clearly indicating(on a page of its official website) part of the data collected: processor and graphics card type, model and amount of RAM, system configuration details, battery user in the case of a laptop... The problem is that, alongside this information, which may seem legitimate, Intel also collects the machine's configuration (regional settings, time zone) and goes a step further by retaining the category of websites visited. Intel makes it clear that it does not store the exact URLs of the sites visited, but the precautions taken seem rather weak.


However, we shouldn't be too quick to blame Intel, as the manufacturer has already taken care to announce its intentions. What's more, in the world of graphics cards, NVIDIA is the worst pupil, since at no point does it mention that its GeForce Experience software collects large quantities of data without warning and, above all, without allowing this collection to be stopped. Intel does allow you to deactivate the Compute Improvement Program when installing drivers, even if this is not entirely clear. AMD, on the other hand, is the most honest in this respect: the mention of data collection and the possibility of stopping it are clearly specified during the driver installation phase.