WTF Fun Fact 13449 – How Google reCAPTCHA works

Do you know how Google reCAPTCHA works? Maybe you’ve thought about it if you’ve ever been annoyed at having to prove to a machine that you’re human.

How Google reCAPTCHA works?

Google’s reCAPTCHA is a type of CAPTCHA, an acronym that stands for Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart. By serving as a litmus test for human-like interaction, CAPTCHAs are designed to protect websites against spam and online fraud. However, the “I am not a robot” prompt is far more than your run-of-the-mill CAPTCHA.

This advanced version does not solely rely on deciphering distorted text or identifying objects within images. When you click on that “I am not a robot” box, a risk analysis engine kicks into gear. It considers numerous factors that distinguish humans from bots.

This system notes the time it takes to interact with the checkbox and your IP address. It even tracks the peculiarities of your mouse movements. The mechanics of how you type, known as keystroke dynamics, is another vital piece of data used in this process.

All these factors collaborate to create a risk profile, allowing reCAPTCHA to make an informed decision about your human-ness.

Why clicking the box doesn’t prove you’re human

However, it’s worth addressing a common myth here. Some believe that when they engage with the “I am not a robot” checkbox, reCAPTCHA goes through their browsing history. It’s true that reCAPTCHA collects certain user data like cookies for abuse detection and prevention. However, it doesn’t comb through your individual browsing history. Google, the provider of reCAPTCHA, has robust privacy measures to ensure user data isn’t misused.

But that’s not to say that reCAPTCHA doesn’t consider your past interactions. As part of Google’s services, it can use cookies and session data to understand if you’ve frequently interacted with CAPTCHAs in the past. This information can influence the risk analysis engine’s decision-making (but it’s a far cry from inspecting your browsing history).

As we’ve uncovered, the “I am not a robot” checkbox is more than a simple statement. It’s a potent piece of technology.

As we continue to use the internet , it’s vital to understand these unseen mechanisms.

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Source: “People Are Just Now Learning How The “I Am Not A Robot” Captcha Test Actually Works” — IFL Science

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