When iOS 16 comes out later this fall, you may notice that you don’t have to deal with as many annoying CAPTCHAs asking you to slide a puzzle piece or distinguish between a hill and a mountain.
Apple is introducing a new feature called Automatic Verification for iPhones and Macs later this fall. This feature will let some sites know that you are not a bot without you actually having to do anything, which means you won’t have to deal with as many CAPTCHAs.
Apple has collaborated with two renowned content delivery networks, Fastly and Cloudflare, to develop the system. Once it launches with iOS 16 and macOS Ventura, sites that use either of the aforementioned services to defend against spam should be able to take advantage of the system and stop displaying an excessive amount of CAPTCHAs.
If you’re aware of how many sites go offline when either Fastly or Cloudflare experience technical difficulties, you’ll understand the significance of this improvement for a large proportion of the internet (especially to those who see CAPTCHAs more often than average because they use a VPN or clear their cookies frequently).
Apple’s latest attempt to replace CAPTCHAs with its Private Access Tokens system shows promise. The system, which is similar to Apple’s password replacement system, uses factors like device type and location to determine whether the user is a human. If the device confirms that the user is a human, the user will be allowed to access the site.
Apple has a privacy story to go along with its new tech. The company says that while your Apple ID is being used as proof that you’re an actual person, your phone or computer isn’t sending out the data (like your email address or phone number) that’s associated with it. The only thing the site gets is what’s essentially a thumbs-up from Apple. Similarly, Apple only knows that your device is asking it to confirm whether you’re a human; it doesn’t get info about who wants to know.