July 21, 2024

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Friendly Captcha: Google’s competitor comes from Bavaria

Friendly Captcha: Google’s competitor comes from Bavaria

With the Friendly Captcha feature, users no longer need to solve Captcha puzzles. Your browser does this for you. For this reason, the startup will be awarded the German Founder Prize 2023.

Guido Zuidhof (left) and Benedikt Padberg reach millions of people with friendly captcha and win German Founder’s Award
Dirk Bronieski for the German Founder’s Prize

“Please tag all photos showing a traffic light.” Oops, clicked. So again from the beginning. I just wanted to log into a website for a moment. Because the system thinks I might be an evil bot and not a real person, I now have to pass this security test. The so-called captcha. Isn’t this easier? Is it possible, for example, the solution Friendly Captcha is working on from Wörthsee near Munich.

While some of Google’s Captcha actions and the like still often require my active participation — identifying traffic lights, cars, street lights in photos, or recognizing words — Friendly Catcha relies on a solution where my browser does everything for me in the background . It’s faster, easier on your nerves, and, according to its creators, completely secure and GDPR compliant – so, unlike Google, it doesn’t store any data about users.

Friendly Captcha scares bots away with computer puzzle

How does this work? To protect websites from spam, Friendly Captcha technology creates an encryption puzzle. This problem is solved automatically in the background by the user’s computer while the user himself, for example, fills in data in a form to register on a website. This takes a few seconds, but doesn’t bother most users — but it does bother bots, which can’t send messages freely during the computing time and waste computing power. In technical terms this is called proof of work. It’s a method that has been used in computer science for decadesR.

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Friendly Captcha was founded at the end of 2020 Written by Benedict Padberg and Guido Zuidhof. Clients include Edeka, EU, Porsche, Red Bull and Zalando.

The startup received a German Founder’s Award on September 12 for its Captcha technology. In the “Startups” category, Friendly Captcha beat out two other finalists: Edurino and Klim, a regenerative agriculture platform. This year’s Founders’ Award sponsor was Federal Economics Minister Robert Habeck.