According to Cloudflare, getting past a so-called captcha (completely automated public turing test to tell computers and humans apart) takes an average of 32 seconds and is, as all internet users know, annoying to say the least.
When Cloudflare engineer Thibault Meunier calculated how much time it actually wastes, he took 32 seconds and multiplied by 4.6 billion Internet users. From the company’s own statistics, he concluded that an average user encounters a captcha every ten days, which means that humanity spends 500 human years – every day – getting past the cursed tests.
The tests are also poorly adapted to people with various disabilities and the most common form of images to be identified presupposes that the person is familiar with cultural phenomena.
Cloudflare therefore wants to put an end to the tests, writes The Register, and has developed an experimental technique that will now be tested. It is called a cryptographic attestation of personhood (“cap”) and involves using a hardware key much like two-factor authentication. The funny thing is that it does not require any connection to an account or just your key, and Cloudflare can not know who did the test.