Cloudflare releases Privacy Pass 2.0 extension

Martin Brinkmann
Oct 28, 2019
Updated • Oct 29, 2019

Internet company Cloudflare launched the Privacy Pass extension for Firefox and Chrome back in 2017 to reduce or even eliminate the number of captchas that Internet users are exposed to.

Captchas may be displayed on websites as a form of verification to ensure that the visiting user is a human being and not a bot. Cloudflare operates one of the latest networks on the Internet that many sites use for protection against DoS attacks and for various other functions.

If you connect to the Tor network or VPN networks regularly, you may have noticed that the number of captchas that you are need to solve to access sites increases significantly over regular Internet connections. One of the main issues is that the regular system does not take into account previously solved captchas. If you visited a site and solved a captcha, you may still be asked to verify another one on another site.

Privacy Pass has been created in collaboration with researchers from several universities to bypass captchas without sacrificing privacy in the process.

Privacy Pass, in a nutshell, allows clients to provide proof of trust without revealing where and when the trust was provided. The aim of the protocol is then to allow anyone to prove they are trusted by a server, without that server being able to track the user via the trust that was assigned.

Basically, what happens is that users get tokens in advance that may be used later on to bypass captures that would otherwise be displayed.

A simple visit to a captcha page could fill up tokens to 30 which would then be used automatically when compatible pages are encountered that require additional verification.

Cloudflare launched Privacy Pass 2.0 for Firefox and Chrome on October 28, 2019. The new version makes the extension easier to use, integrates a new service provider (non Cloudflare), and improves the technology used by the extension.

The, rather technical, post on the Cloudflare blog provides detailed information on the new version.  One interesting new feature is the unlocking of the extension for other services. Cloudflare revealed that a new version of the extension will roll out soon that supports the provider hCaptcha.

Internet users who solve a captcha provided by the provider will receive tokens if they run Privacy Pass that will be used automatically on other sites that use the provider's captcha solution.

Closing Words

The new version of the extension won't convince users who distrust Cloudflare to give it a try. Users who run into captchas, especially those by Cloudflare, regularly, may benefit from it as it should reduce the number of captchas that they are exposed to.

Now you: would you use something like Privacy Pass?

Cloudflare releases Privacy Pass 2.0 extension
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Cloudflare releases Privacy Pass 2.0 extension
Cloudflare launched Privacy Pass 2.0, a new version of the extension for Chrome and Firefox designed to bypass captches on the Internet.
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  1. Victor said on November 27, 2019 at 5:58 am

    So that’s why we had this influx of 160k botswarms this week from cloudflare servers…. Interesting

  2. Kreela said on October 31, 2019 at 5:32 pm

    Busta Captcha solver works in Firefox for me right now.

  3. Anonymous said on October 31, 2019 at 12:27 pm

    “The new version of the extension won’t convince users who distrust Cloudflare to give it a try.”

    Exactly. Cloudflare told us before that using their DNS was increasing privacy, and the tech press, incompetent or sold-out, parroted them (with few exceptions like the EFF), so that I had to dig in the technical details myself to understand that it was the contrary. This time I am not even going to lose time digging into the complex math and cryptography of this system to check if they have been lying again and if this does allow them to track us, and I’m not going to trust tech press opinions about it: I’ll just stay away from it.

  4. Yea right said on October 29, 2019 at 8:17 pm

    They created and problem and now provide a “Solution” to that problem.

    Excuse me if i decide to trust you as little as i trust Google.

  5. Something's missing said on October 29, 2019 at 7:55 pm


    1. Martin Brinkmann said on October 29, 2019 at 8:01 pm

      Follow the link to the Cloudflare blog, there you find the links to the Chrome and Firefox web stores to install the extension.

  6. whut in the butt said on October 29, 2019 at 8:47 am

    I’m getting this right? At first they locked sites behind captchas to “reduce” traffic and protect them from suspicious behavior and then they released an extension that solves captcha on these locked sites and at the same time they’re saying its a safe solution while Google captcha itself can be used to track users? What keeps them from tracking users who decide to use that extension?

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on October 29, 2019 at 8:02 pm

      One of the ideas behind the extension is to award users who pass a check once with tokens that may be redeemed in future checks.

  7. naveenkumar said on October 29, 2019 at 3:38 am

    its buggy. not working at all.

  8. Anonymous said on October 29, 2019 at 1:54 am

    not of much use, unless it starts working with googles captchas

    1. Anonymous said on October 30, 2019 at 6:16 pm


  9. John Fenderson said on October 28, 2019 at 8:42 pm

    “would you use something like Privacy Pass?”

    I have to dig into the technical details to see how private this really is. If it actually seems to protect privacy (even from Cloudflare), then I might use it. My gut tells me that’s doubtful, but I don’t really know with any degree of confidence right now.

  10. Ray said on October 28, 2019 at 8:42 pm

    Sounds promising, hate captchas! I wonder how it plays well with resistFingerprinting and other addons like Privacy Badger or Chameleon.

  11. metro87 said on October 28, 2019 at 7:44 pm

    Can you trust the CloudFlare DNS server? What the best server DNS OpenDNS, GoogleDNS, ComodoDNS or OpenDNS?

    1. Five Eyes said on October 29, 2019 at 3:33 am

      Comodo spies for the British. Not trustworthy. Why do you think they give away so much free stuff!

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