Not a bot: With iOS 16 and macOS Ventura launching later this fall, Apple users will be relieved of having to identify parts of a bike or crosswalk when accessing certain apps and websites. This is made possible by Auto-Verify, a security feature that uses iCloud to privately verify iOS/macOS users in the background and reveal the need to solve CAPTCHAs.
Apple’s new security feature arriving with iOS 16 and macOS Ventura is based on a private access token system, which essentially allows Apple to attest to a user’s legitimacy while respecting their privacy and giving them access to CAPTCHA-protected apps and websites. MacRumors reports Automatic verification is present and enabled by default in the early betas of iOS 16 and iPadOS 16.
Developed with Cloudflare and Fastly, CDN platforms that power millions of websites and apps worldwide, Private Access Jets won’t be limited to just Apple devices, as Google is also helping to standardize the technological. However, iPhone and Mac beta users are the first to benefit from the automatic verification experience with the latest beta versions of these operating systems.
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At Fastly’s in-depth blog covering this technology, the company notes that this CAPTCHA alternative requires no human interaction and respects user privacy. Instead of a user proving their legitimacy by solving a puzzle in order to login or access an app/website, a third party (Apple in this case) will act as an attester and request a token from a sender on behalf of the user. after privately verifying their device via iCloud.
The token issuer will not see any private user information, nor will the visited website/app, the latter only requiring a valid user token to grant access. Automatic verification will also work on VPNs and with Apple’s iCloud Private Passthrough.
As with Cupertino’s Key Authentication feature, which is another step towards a more accessible web, automatic verification will also be limited to Apple devices that can run iOS 16 and macOS Ventura. This means iPhone 8/SE 2 and later for iOS, and Macs built after 2017 or 2018 for macOS Ventura.