Cloudflare on Wednesday said it is ditching Google’s reCAPTCHA bot detector for a similar service called hCaptcha out of concerns about privacy and availability, but mostly cost.
The network services biz said it initially adopted reCAPTCHA because it was free, effective, and worked at scale. Some Cloudflare customers, however, have expressed reservations about having data sent to Google.
Google’s reCAPTCHA v3, used on about 1.2m websites, provides a way for web publishers to present puzzles called CAPTCHAs (completely automated public Turing test to tell computers and humans apart) that can usually, but not always, distinguish automated website interaction from human engagement. The point of presenting such challenges is to keep bots from registering fake accounts and conducting other sorts of online abuse.