Web Applications Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for power users of web applications. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

When I use Google's OAuth system to login to a website (e.g. a StackExchange site), I see it use a string similar to the following: www.google.com/accounts/o8/id?id=oethionbmqnjbonthaenthiqb_tneohqjb2oe

Does this string contain any personal identifiable information? For example, is my email address encoded in this string? How about the file it links to? Basically I'm wondering if there is any way that someone can know my email address if they have this string.

I realize that when you authorize a site, you send them your email address. That's not what I'm asking about. I'm only concerned about this URL specifically and what information, if any, can be deduced by it.

share|improve this question
up vote 3 down vote accepted

The string itself doesn't contain personal information but it points to where information can be obtained. Fear not, Google will tell you what information will be passed (depends on what the target application requires) and ask you for your approval beforehand, each time you use your OAuth/OpenID on a new site, so if someone just have the link, won't learn your e-mail address unless you allow it (per site).

Currently Google's OpenID system won't allow you to choose what info you want to be passed, it's just a yes to all or no to all, so if you really want to limit the passed information, better use an alternative, like myOpenID for example.

share|improve this answer
Here's a relevant question on Stack Overflow: stackoverflow.com/questions/4053134/… – Senseful Oct 30 '10 at 1:26

no the url does not contain email id

share|improve this answer
This is a partial answer that may mislead the asker. – Saxtus Oct 28 '10 at 8:33

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.