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WebID Glossary

Maintained by @kenrb


Below is a list of definitions for important terms in common use related to WebID. Many of the definitions are intended to match existing terms in identity standards, in some cases adapted and constrained for relevance in the context of WebID.

This document is continually evolving. Feedback is welcome.



  • Process used by an Identity Provider to achieve sufficient confidence in the binding between the and a presented identity.

Note that in some discussions and documentation, the term authentication is used to refer to the federated sign-in process. However, the user does not authenticate to the RP during federated sign-in. The user authenticates to the IdP, which then provides a claim to the RP asserting the user’s identity. The user does not prove their identity to the RP.

External references: OIDC terminology, OIDC authentication, SAML glossary


References: OAuth 2.0, SAML glossary



References: WebAuthn glossary

  • A part of a ceremony that comprises a user interaction with a clear user agent-controlled UI element that can be taken to mean the user accepts privacy risk that has been explained in accompanying text, and the ceremony may proceed accordingly.


References: OIDC terminology

Consumer (context)

Directed basic profile

This term is novel in WebID and its details could be subject to change.

Directed identifier

Enterprise (context)

  • Category of use cases that apply to private restricted-access Relying Parties and Identity Providers, in particular where organizations can have provisioning capabilities over user agents. This typically encompasses use cases of corporations, institutions, or government agencies.

Federated sign-in

References: OIDC


  • A claim or set of claims that comprises a unique mapping to a user within a given scope, such as for a particular Relying Party.

References: SAML glossary

Identity Provider (IDP)

  • A service that has information about the user and can grant that information to Relying Parties.

References: OIDC terminology

Identity Provider backwards compatibility

Identity Provider blindness

IDP tracking

  • A privacy threat in which an Identity Provider is able to surveil or correlate user activity across the web.

References: WebID Threat Model

Relying Party (RP)

References: OIDC terminology, SAML glossary

Relying Party backwards compatibility

  • The property of a federated sign-in and authorization design that would allow deployment by Relying Parties who use existing standardized federation flows without them having to modify their web properties or account systems. This particularly applies to RPs that import scripts from Identity Providers to implement federation.

Relying Party blindness

RP tracking

  • A privacy threat in which a Relying Party is able to surveil or correlate user activity across the web.

References: WebID Threat Model

Standard claims

  • A predefined set of claims that are included in a standard OIDC request for the purpose of user identification.

This term is defined as a part of the OpenID Connect specification. The use of this term in WebID refers to the OIDC definition.

References: OIDC

Verifiably directed identifier

User agent

  • Client software such as a web browser that renders web content and can implement WebID.