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W3C WAI Inaccessibility of CAPTCHA Note Published

It’s with great pleasure I can share with you that after several years of work, the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) Note that I’ve been involved in relating to the inaccessibility of CAPTCHA has been published. The purpose of this Note is to help developers understand the issues and implement accessible CAPTCHA solutions.

In a formal statement by Janina Sajka , the W3C WAI advised that:

Today the Accessible Platform Architectures (APA) Working Group, with the assistance of its Research Questions Task Force (RQTF), has published: “Inaccessibility of CAPTCHA,”  as a W3C Note:

First published in 2005  today’s 2.0 publication extensively updates the earlier version to bring our analysis and recommendations up to date with CAPTCHA practice today.

CAPTCHA technologies covered in today’s publication include:

  • Traditional visual and audio CAPTCHA, including CAPTCHA games and logic puzzles as practiced today.
  • reCAPTCHA v2 and v3
  • Blinded verification tokens
  • Honeypots
  • Biometrics
  • Proof of WorkHeuristics, PKI certificates, and much more.

Today’s publication is the culmination of almost two years of extensive research, discussion, writing, and editing by APA’s Research Questions Task Force (RQTF). The document is extensively documented with references to research publications and numerous on line resources. Comments received in response to three separate wide public review draft publications aided our work immensely.”

As the lead editor for the Note, I’d like to take this opportunity to thank fellow editors Janina Sajka, Jason White and Michael Cooper for the opportunity to be involved with the update along with the many contributions provided by the general public during the feedback process.

For more information on CAPTCHA and its impact on people with disabilities, please refer to the excellent ABC article The internet thinks you’re a robot, and other ‘dark patterns’ people with disabilities face online.

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