June 7, 2023

Is Apple’s New iOS 16 Feature the Answer to Annoying CAPTCHAs

3 min read

Apple has taken a significant step toward eliminating the annoyance of CAPTCHAs by releasing iOS 16 at the WWDC 2022. Users will soon be able to circumvent the tedious questions and puzzles we meet all over the web to pass the bot verification checks on several websites, thanks to a forthcoming feature in Apple’s operating system. So, how does Apple’s latest iOS 16 feature make internet surfing less frustrating?

Convenient Automated CAPTCHA Verification

Apple’s newest feature is Automatic Verification, which MacRumors discovered and detailed in a blog post on the company’s website. In September or October of 2022, the iPhone 14 series will be released, and iOS 16 will be released simultaneously. For its blog, Apple noted that the future  Access Token on iOS 16 would allow websites to verify that the system that accesses the platform is legitimate and not a bot.

It was stated during the WWDC 2022 that Apple would be releasing several new features shortly. This function, dubbed “Automatic Verification,” will make viewing the web less tedious. CAPTCHAs will no longer be required to verify the legitimacy of a user’s account. Certain websites will be able to tell that you are not a bot once the capability is available on iPhones and Macs.

Keeping Your Personal Information Safe

As Apple has previously disclosed, Private Access Tokens are the underlying technology for this functionality. Fastly and Cloudflare, two of the largest contact delivery networks, worked with Apple on the project. Apple is supposed to protect user privacy throughout the entire process. The new authentication method “Private Token” will be used by servers to request tokens. As a result of this cryptographic procedure, the server is confident that the “client was able to pass attestation check” using the tokens they generate.

Apple goes on to emphasize that these cryptographic circumstances are entirely unrelated. Client identities and long-term recognition are not possible for servers receiving tokens. They can only verify that they are legitimate and nothing more. After verifying that the Apple ID linked with the certificates stored on your iPhone, iPad, or Mac Secure Enclave is in good standing, the process begins.

Fastly and Cloudflare are already working on implementing support for the new Privacy Pass standard. The issuer services of both firms have already been activated, and other businesses can join up for them on the Apple website later in 2022.

As of the initial beta releases of iOS 16, iPad 16, and macOS Ventura, the ‘Automatic Verification’ functionality is turned on by default. To turn on automatic verification, go to “Privacy and Security” in your Apple ID settings and search for the new “Automatic Verification” checkbox.

CAPTACHs Have Their Dark Sides

One of the internet’s least preferred security measures is the CAPTCHA, or Completely Automated Public Turing Test. Everyone has taken a CAPTCHA exam at some point in their lives. In 1950, British mathematician Alan Turing devised the Turing Test, which involved presenting mathematical problems to computers to identify human behavior from that of machines.

The CAPTCHA was created in the early 2000s in response to the onslaught of spyware and viruses that mimicked human behavior on the internet. As one of the most widely used cybersecurity technologies in 2010, Google purchased CAPTCHA for $27.8 million. For example, according to Apple Internet Technologies exec Tommy Pauly, CAPTCHAs and site riddles can limit genuine people with impairments. The video explained using “Private Access Tokens,” “servers in iOS 16 and macOS Ventura may immediately trust new clients.”

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