Why is the CakePHP authentication component not hashing my password?

I'm using CakePHP 1.2 with Auth and ACL components.

In my user register action, the password is coming in unhashed. Specifically, this expression:

if ($this->data['User']['password'] !=

This is evaluating to true, even when I submit identical values for password and confirm_password. I know that password is unhashed because when I remove the call to Auth->password, the expression evaluates to false.

I expected the Auth module to automagically hash the password. What am I doing wrong?

Here is my view:

    echo $form->create('User', array('action' => 'register'));

    echo $form->input('email',
                      array('after' => $form->error(
                        'email_unique', 'This email is already registered.')));
    echo $form->input('password');
    echo $form->input('confirm_password', array('type' => 'password'));
    echo $form->end('Register');

Here is my register action from the user controller:

function register(){
    if ($this->data) {
        if ($this->data['User']['password'] !=
            $this->Auth->password($this->data['User']['confirm_password'])) {

            $this->Session->setFlash(__('Password and Confirm Password must match.', true));
            $this->data['User']['password'] = '';
            $this->data['User']['confirm_password'] = '';
            if ($this->User->save($this->data)){
                $this->redirect(array('action' => 'index'), null, true);
            else {
                $this->data['User']['password'] = '';
                $this->data['User']['confirm_password'] = '';
                $this->Session->setFlash(__('Some problem saving your information.', true));

And here is my appController where I include the Auth and Acl modules:

class AppController extends Controller {
    var $components = array('Acl', 'Auth');

    function beforeFilter(){
        if (isset($this->Auth)) {
            $this->Auth->fields =
                'username' => 'email',
                'password' => 'password');
            $this->Auth->authorize = 'actions';

What am I doing wrong?