Turnstile, an ambitious new project from Cloudflare, aims to do away with the CAPTCHAs that are now being used on the internet to confirm users are not robots.
Turnstile utilizes a revolving set of “browser challenges” to verify that visits to a website are not, in fact, bots. This service is free for all website owners, whether they are Cloudflare clients or not. The company stated that their CAPTCHA replacement would also increase user privacy on the web since sites that use it won’t need to submit user data to Cloudflare.
Back in June 2022, Cloudflare stated that iOS and macOS users would be the first to receive the technology’s benefits while accessing webpages hosted on the company’s network.
It remains to be seen if website owners will opt for Turnstile instead of the current CAPTCHA. However, according to statistics, 97.7% of the top million websites utilize Google’s reCAPTCHA, the market’s most popular CAPTCHA tool. To make Turnstile more accessible, Cloudflare is developing plugins for popular platforms like WordPress.
Turnstile appears to be a more fair CAPTCHA system for several reasons.
According to security researchers, Google’s most recent iteration of reCAPTCHA violates users’ privacy by weighing the presence of a proprietary cookie in a browser to determine whether or not a user is malicious. Cloudflare claims that Turnstile avoids this problem for all users.
It’s worth noting that users that utilize firewalls to defend against cookie hijacking attacks may experience issues with cookies weighting verification. In addition, users that constantly remove their cookies to avoid being tracked around the internet also have problems with reCAPTCHA.
Turnstyle provides an alternative to Google’s stronghold on CAPTCHA services for website owners.
It’s not easy to consider Cloudflare’s Turnstile as anything other than a good thing right now because it’s a privacy-focused solution that aims to enhance user experience. Still, only time will tell if Turnstile manages to replace the Captcha functionality.