People who install iOS 16 on their iPhone or macOS Montery on their Mac later this year will have less to deal with CAPTCHAs when logging into websites and apps. Via a CAPTCHA, a user must prove that he is not a robot, for example by indicating in which images a bicycle can be seen.
CAPTCHAs (which stands for Completely Automated Public Turing Test To Tell Computers and Humans Apart) come in many forms. In the past, it was often a garbled string of letters and numbers that had to be retyped. These days, for example, you have to indicate that you recognize the difference between several objects or simply check a box with which you promise not to be a robot.
At its WWDC 2022 developer conference, Apple showed off a technique for iOS 16 that can avoid these puzzles. The option is called Automatic Verification and was created in collaboration with internet companies Cloudflare and Fastly.
It works with an underlying system called Private Access Tokens. This uses iCloud to verify a user’s Apple ID and the device being used. This information is turned into a token in the background that provides proof of humanity, without having to solve a CAPTCHA first.
Apple claims that this technique does not share sensitive user data, nor does the company know who is skipping CAPTCHAs. In addition, no IP address is recorded.
Free updates for iPhone and Mac operating systems will be released in the fall. Public test versions have already been released.