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.
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?Advertisement
Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.