The installer for the latest Intel graphics card 101.4578 beta drivers adds a “Compute Improvement Program” (CIP) data-gathering component that’s automatically selected during installation.
This CIP gathers data for Intel including “categories of websites visited by users (excluding specific URLs) and how they utilize their computers,” according to a report from TechPowerUP (via VideoCardZ). Intel will also collect information on system hardware specs, regional information, and manufacturers of devices, including those which are close by such as Smart TVs.”
The good news is that users can opt out of this data collection by deselecting it during the installation process. However, the process isn’t too straightforward either unlike AMD, which explicitly asks the user whether they want to opt out of data collection. Nvidia, however, enables and installs its Telemetry components by default and users are unable to opt out of it.
Intel did set up a dedicated page for the CIP, which states that it “does not collect your name, email address, phone number, sensitive personal information, or physical location (except for country).” It’s worth a read-through for Intel graphics card owners, as it breaks down what data the CIP collects.
We’ve reached out to Intel for further comment and will update this article with any official statements.
How much data is too much?
Even though Intel is far more open about its data collection than Nvidia, it’s still concerning how much data the manufacturer is collecting with this driver update. In fact, the amount of data is so extensive that it’s faster to list what data Intel isn’t collecting:
- Will not include any directly identifying personal information such as name, email address, IP address, or MAC address
- Will not include the URL (web address) for specific sites visited
- Will not be used to identify or contact you
And while most of what’s under CIP could be reasoned as necessary to graphics card upkeep, there’s also data that doesn’t seem to serve an immediate purpose like “categories of websites visited by users.” Unless data collection for the sake of marketing purposes counts as reasonable.
Considering that Nvidia, which has by far the largest market share of graphics cards, automatically enables Telemetry components in the driver without any option to opt-out, Intel’s approach might appear almost lightweight. Either way, it’s clear that your graphics card of any brand may have more access to your data than you expect or want.
This post originally appeared on TechToday.