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CAPTCHA: Can we say goodbye to them?

The CAPTCHA, those tests that we are human that many of us have not yet finished understanding (that is, not understanding their function, that is clear, but their operation) are, in many cases, a real torture. I am sure that if I ask you to raise your hand, those who, at least once, have suffered from its malfunction, you would have to stretch your neck to be able to see the sky clearly.

CAPTCHAs, short for Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart, became necessary at the same moment in which the bots began to make an appearance on the network. And it is that it began to be necessary to have a system that could identify when a bot was trying to impersonate a human, something that in most cases tends to hide malicious intentions.

The problem with CAPTCHAs is that, although there are better and worse implementations (I’ve always been fascinated by the one in which you only have to select that you are human in a check box, and what to say about the one that does not require user participation), even what works best sometimes cause problems. And if that happens with the best, better not to talk about the worst, because personally I can say that there are services that I have not been able to use because of a CAPTCHA that worked badly.

Thus, for years there are many people working in the search for an alternative system, that allows us to say goodbye to them, and the last example is found in the interesting proposal of Cloudflare, which involves the use of elements that allow us to determine that we are human, without having to go through the codes that have complicated our existence so many times . At first, the possibility of hardware keys was raised, a USB device that would allow us to identify ourselves as humans, an interesting model in theory, but difficult to put into practice.

However, the company’s proposal has evolved and has led us to a very interesting point: that of use the biometric systems that many of our devices already have to prove our human condition:

“We want to get rid of CAPTCHAs completely. The idea is quite simple: a real human being should be able to touch or look at his device to show that he is human, without revealing his identity “, and we can also read” The people on the planet who have seen a fire hydrant in the United States are a minority, as is the number who speak English. Taxis are yellow in New York City and black in London. I could not agree more.

The problem is that biometric identification elements, mainly fingerprint readers, they have not yet finished popularizing. It is true that today they are much more present than a few years ago, but there is still time until they become general, if they ever do. However, offering an alternative to CAPTCHAs for users who can use it is, without a doubt, an excellent beginning.

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