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.

2 Answers 2


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.


no the url does not contain email id

  • 2
    This is a partial answer that may mislead the asker.
    – Saxtus
    Oct 28, 2010 at 8:33

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