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Unfortunately one of those pages was the Equifax settlement. And other similar “important” sites. I never seem to come across them when it’s a service I could easily quit or avoid.

This might not be so sinister. It so happens that "important" operations, like a class action lawsuit settlement, are also the type of thing you'd particularly want to protect from bots.

Why would anyone protect an "unimportant" site with a captcha? The value of the information, to someone, in bulk, is exactly why some throttling is needed.

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