Cloudflare announces Private Access Tokens - verification without CAPTCHAs

A Cloudflare captcha

Cloudflare has announced a new technology called Private Access Tokens that allow you to validate visitors to your site are real, in a private manner. Operating systems will add support for this new technology including the upcoming versions of macOS and iOS and will eliminate the need to complete annoying CAPTCHAs. This should make mobile browsing more pleasant.

Cloudflare outlined several benefits to PATs, for users it makes accessing sites less cumbersome, for web and app developers it lets you know the user is on an authentic device and signed application, and for Cloudflare customers, it’s simple to get started using PATs as there’s no setup required.

Apple is one of the first major vendors to announce support for Private Access Tokens in iOS 16, iPadOS 16, and macOS 13. Luckily, other vendors are also expected to announce support in the near future so more people will be able to avoid CAPTCHAs in the future. On Cloudflare’s side, PATs have already been incorporated into its Managed Challenge platform so customers using this feature already support PATs on their website. Cloudflare said 65% of its customers already use Managed Challenge rather than the Legacy CAPTCHA as a response option in their Firewall rule.

The next version of macOS was released as a beta for developers on Monday and a public beta is due in July. The upgrade will begin being offered to everybody in the fall.

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