Soon Apple iPhones will be able to bypass CAPTCHA verification step

Apple, earlier this month, offers a glimpse of what’s coming in the new software updates– iOS 16, watchOS 9, macOS 13, and iPadOS 16 to elections later this year. The beta versions were made available to registered software professionals of the Apple Developer Program and public preview version will be released next month.

In the meantime, registered iOS coders are impressed with a lesser-known value-added feature called- Private Access Tokens- coming in the iOS 16. It will ensure users login or enter the website faster than other mobile users.

Almost all websites are equipped with a CAPTCHA verification feature to block non-human bots developed by bad actors from accessing the webpages and it is mostly for preventing Directed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks.

However, most users find it annoying to waste time in understanding and matching the weirdly shaped characters, sometimes calculating mathematical problems, and most common among CAPTCHA verification procedures is to identify the block having traffic signals or fire hydrants in a picture.

Now, Apple in collaboration with internet and digital infrastructure providers has come with Private Access Tokens that offer assurance that a person using certain devices, in this case iPhones, is a genuine person and gets automatic entry to a website or an app.

Apple is going an extra mile to improve user privacy, as CAPTCHAs tend to register the IP address of the user and also use fingerprinting techniques, an online tracking that’s considered to be more invasive than ordinary cookie-based tracking. This is done to authenticate whether a person is genuine or not and also to create a profile of the user for future CAPTCHA verification. Once a profile is created, the person who goes to the same website, the latter will offer simpler puzzles and reduced complexity, and improve user experience.

And, the other pain points of CAPTCHA verification is that it discourages people with disabilities in terms of vision to identify images or even calculate maths, And, those who don’t know the English language find it taxing to enter a website.

Private Access Token flow chart. Credit: Apple

But, with Private Access Tokens, Apple will block all types of tracking, skip CAPTCHA verification and offer direct entry to the website or an app.

Private Access Tokens are generated by multiple security clearances starting with a person opening an iPhone/iPad/Mac with TouchID/Face ID, again opening a website/app with an authentic Apple ID, and launching the code-signed app. All these three processes ensure that person is genuine and not a bot.

It’s good that Apple is partnering with Cloudflare and Fastly, which offer their services to the most online companies in the world.

Come September, most Apple iPhone and Mac device owners will be able to skip the CAPTCHA verification and enter a website or an application faster than ever before.
In a related development, Apple, Google, Microsoft, and others are working on the FIDO standard for passwordless sign-in on devices next year

Read more | Apple, Google, Microsoft commit to offer passwordless future

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