Cloudflare, which you may know as a DNS provider, wants to replace web captcha with a brand new system.
CAPTCHA tests are those tests that you have to take, often when trying to log into a service, that asks you to click pictures of things like buses, pedestrian paths, or bicycles to prove you’re human.
The problem with these tests is that they add more steps for using the web and can sometimes be difficult to solve.
Cloudflare says in PostA: They aim to eliminate CAPTCHA tests altogether by replacing them with a new way of proving you are human by touch or looking at a device that uses a system called a personal cryptographic certificate.
The whole process takes a few seconds, and in addition to speed, this new method can have a great accessibility benefit, as people with visual impairments may not be able to complete CAPTCHA exams in their current form.
Although it’s an interesting idea, it might not be the end of CAPTCHA as we know it yet, because this is just an experiment at the moment, and it is available on a limited basis in English speaking areas.
The experience works in its current form only with a limited set of devices, including YubiKey, HyperFIDO and Thetis FIDO U2F keys.
Cloudflare pledges that it is considering adding additional authentication devices as soon as possible, and this could extend to your phone, as Cloudflare suggests that you can click through a phone through its computer to pass a wireless signature using NFC.
Google can now treat both iPhones and Android phones as physical security keys, and if Google and Apple joined the Cloudflare method, this could significantly reduce the entry barrier, given that smartphones are more common than security keys.
Although we haven’t reached the password-free future yet, a potential alternative for Cloudflare to CAPTCHA could be a first step in this direction.
Topics of interest to the reader