CAPTCHAs are, ironically, one of the most annoying pieces of technology ever invented to help people. These tests try to deter software agents who are unable to accurately identify the items displayed or correctly recognize numbers and text. CAPTCHAs are increasingly lacking value as machine learning algorithms have skipped them. Yet they persist and are difficult for us humans to solve to fight bots.
Apple introduced a bypass in iOS 16/iPadOS 16 and macOS 13 Ventura that you may not have seen the benefit of. But make sure the feature is enabled to make sure you do. Called Automatic Verification, it is a system developed by Apple that allows the company to send a token to a website that the site can accept instead of a CAPTCHA.
When you visit a site or use an app that requires you to solve a CAPTCHA and that supports automatic verification, the developer can query your device through the browser to produce a token in response. Apple uses one of its servers to validate that you’re signed in to an Apple ID account and returns a token to the requesting web server or app. Apple says it doesn’t learn what app you’re using or what site you’re visiting from this process. Further, the party receiving the token doesn’t get your Apple ID or any other identifying information – it just knows that Apple vouchs for you in a verifiable way.
You can enable this feature, which is enabled by default in updated operating systems. Here’s how:
- In iOS and iPadOS 16, open the Settings app and tap your Apple ID profile at the top. Then tap Password & Security. At the bottom is a setting for Automatic Verificationn that you can enable or disable.
- In macOS Ventura, go to System settings and click your Apple ID in the top left column. Select Password & Security in the main section and scroll down to Automatic Verificationn and flip the switch.
There is no way to know which websites or apps have this feature enabled. No developer or company seems to have publicly announced support either! But with it on, over time you may find that you are less harassed about your humanity than you were in the past.
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