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

Guido Zuidhof (l.) and Benedict Padberg reach millions of people with Friendly Captcha and won the German Founder’s Prize
Dirk Bruniecki for German Founder Prize

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

While some Captcha procedures from Google and the like still often require my active participation – identifying traffic lights, cars or street lights in pictures or recognizing words – Friendly Catcha relies on a solution in which my browser does everything for me in the background. It’s quicker, easier on your nerves and, according to the creators, is just as secure and GDPR-compliant – so, unlike Google, it doesn’t store any data about users.

Friendly Captcha scares bots away with a computer puzzle

How does this work? To protect websites from spam, Friendly Captcha technology creates a crypto puzzle. This is solved automatically in the background by the user’s computer while the user himself, for example, fills out 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 cannot send messages freely during the computing time and waste computing power. In technical jargon this is called proof of work. It is a method that has been used in computer science for decadest.

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

The startup was awarded the German Founder’s Prize on September 12th for its Captcha technology. In the “Startup” category, Friendly Captcha beat two other finalists: the edtech Edurino and Klim, a platform for regenerative agriculture. This year’s patron of the Founders’ Prize was Federal Minister of Economics Robert Habeck.

Source: https://www.businessinsider.de/gruenderszene/technologie/catcha-konkurrent-aus-bayern-ein-startup-tritt-gegen-google-an/

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