Turnstile: Cloudflare Introduces Alternative To Captchas

Turnstile: Cloudflare introduces alternative to captchas

Turnstile works in the background and completely replaces captchas. On average, users only need one second to solve a challenge. For classic captcha tasks, it takes an average of 32 seconds.

Cloudflare has developed an alternative to captchas that is supposed to be particularly user- and privacy-friendly. Called Turnstile, the technique aims to make the Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart (Captcha) obsolete. Instead, according to Cloudflare, Turnstile works in the background, confirming humans through web usage even during a web interaction.

Captchas were introduced to allow providers to verify whether certain interactions with websites and services were coming from a human or another computer. However, they are controversial because, for example, recognising distorted letters or clicking on objects such as traffic lights affects the user experience and is at odds with an accessible internet.

Turnstile offers Cloudflare as an application programming interface that developers can integrate into their websites and services. The solution automatically selects browser challenges that work in the background, looking for signals for a human user. However, Turnstile is also said to recognize Private Access Tokens from macOS and iOS to verify a device with the help of the device provider without collecting any data from the user.

According to Cloudflare, Turnstile provides equal resolution rate as Captchas. In its own tests, Turnstile reduced the use of Captchas by 91 percent, according to the report. The time users spent solving a challenge dropped from an average of 32 seconds to an average of one second.

Interested developers can sign up for Turnstile’s open beta for free. Cloudflare emphasizes that developers do not need to be Cloudflare customers, nor do they need to send traffic over the Cloudflare Global Network for testing.