I was perusing my RSS feeds this morning and came across an article from ZDNET entitled, Inside India’s CAPTCHA Solving Economy. A CAPTCHA is a type of challenge-response test used in computing to ensure that the response is not generated by a computer (wikipedia).
I had never thought about the potential economics about setting up a service to “crack/break” CAPTCHA’s but a few enterprising individuals in India apparently have.
No CAPTCHA can survive a human that’s receiving financial incentives for solving it, and with an army of low-waged human CAPTCHA solvers officially in the business of “data processing” while earning a mere $2 for solving a thousand CAPTCHA’s, I’m already starting to see evidence of consolidation between India’s major CAPTCHA solving companies. The consolidation logically leading to increased bargaining power, is resulting in an international franchising model recruiting data processing workers empowered with do-it-yourself CAPTCHA syndication web based kits, API keys, and thousands of proxies to make their work easier, and the process more efficient.
I like how they call this Data Processing. I guess it really is. This reminds me of Gold Farming that generally takes place in games like World of Warcraft.. that’s data processing too I guess.
Looks like CAPTCHA might be on the decline if marketers start buying more from these solving services, so what’s next?