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No more searching for traffic lights, ducks and buses: Cloudflare launches CAPTCHA competitors

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Turnstile aims to outperform Google’s market-dominant reCAPTCHA. The tool does not need any interaction for validation, such as annoying image searches.

Finally an end to the annoying search for zebra crossings and Co.: This is what Cloudflare promises with its new CAPTCHA alternative Turnstile. The US company’s validation tool is now in an open beta and is supposed to be invisible to Internet users while surfing. Cloudflare is thus in direct competition with its own CAPTCHA service, known from the click on “I’m a human”. Above all, the provider hopes to be able to replace Google’s reCAPTCHA. This is famous on the net for the frequently requested image search tasks – and notorious.

There is no need to beat around the bush, previous CAPTCHA methods would offer a terrible user experience: “We hate it, you hate it, everyone hates it. Today we offer everyone a better option” writes Cloudflare in the blog post on the Turnstile- Begin. It’s a tool that performs validation that a human user is sitting in front of the display “automatically from a series of non-intrusive browser tasks, based on telemetry and customer behavior during a session”.

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In addition, private access tokens are used, which device manufacturers issue and which guarantee the validity of the users. Collaborations with manufacturers, which already exist with Apple, can be used to minimize the data collection required for Turnstile: Instead of having to interrogate devices themselves, the manufacturers now do it, writes Cloudflare.

Turnstile isn’t the first validation service that doesn’t require interaction. Google’s reCAPTCHA already exists in a variant that secretly makes a decision based on user behavior. However, this reCAPTCHA version is rarely used. In addition, Cloudflare argues, it is not just the more convenient operation that speaks for the use of Turnstile. It should also not be forgotten that Google is an advertising sales company – even if the group states that it does not use the data collected with reCAPTCHA for advertising targeting. With its free service, Google currently dominates human validation on the web with a market share of 97 percent.

The new CAPTCHA alternative is now available to all website operators free of charge via an API. You don’t have to be a Cloudflare customer to do this. The registration takes place via a separate website, in the blog post Cloudflare explains the change of the CAPTCHA methods in detail.

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