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iOS 16 will help replace the web’s most annoying safety feature

Apple is adding a new iCloud feature in iOS 16 that can automatically verify users and bypass some CAPTCHA screens in apps and on the web.

The long-standing annoyance for web users is designed to ensure users are human and not bots, and requires them to manually tick a box, type a code, or complete a visual exercise before progressing to the next page. Ticketing websites, for example, use them quite a lot in an effort to keep out scalper bots and prevent other fraudulent activity.

However, in iOS 16, iPhone and iPad users will be able to ask iCloud to automatically and privately verify the device and account, and bypass the annoying CAPTCHA screen completely.

Because users have already signed into their device with Apple ID and have unlocked their phone through Face ID or Touch ID and are launching a code-signed application from the App Store, there’s enough information there for sites and apps to get a good idea that the user is not a bot. The new tech in iOS 16 takes this a step farther.

The ‘Replace CAPTCHAs with Private Access Tokens’ was recently explained by Apple in a developer video. Those devs will be able to add it to their app in iOS 16 (via MacRumors). The apps supporting the new tech can simply request these single-use tokens instead of issuing a CAPTCHA screen.

“Finding the right balance between a good experience and preventing fraud is a challenge,” Apple says. “CAPTCHAs often lead to a slower and more complex user experience. By trying to prevent attacks, you may also lose valuable customers.”

Apple also points out CAPTCHAs can often be prohibitive for people with accessibility needs, who have language barriers or disabilities. The new solution will negate the need to input CAPTCHAs on Safari and supported App Store applications if users enable it through Apple ID > Password & Security > Automatic Verification.

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