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ID Token

ID token is a security token, introduced by the OpenID Connect specification that contains claims about the authentication of an end-user by an authorization server. This token is presented as a JWT (JSON Web Token) and contains user claims to identify who the user is. The ID token is issued from the authorization server and the audience of the ID token is the client application. The client application will validate the ID token based on the signature value and can interpret the value of the ID token. To secure the ID tokens, the token should be signed and it can be also encrypted.

There are two main uses of the ID token.

  1. It can be exchanged with the access token.

  2. It can obtain user information and pass it to external applications if required.

Sample ID tokens

  1. Unsigned ID token

    A sample of the unsigned ID token is shown below. It has two parts separated by a . in the format of <header>.<body>.

  2. Signed ID token

    A sample of the signed ID token is shown below. It has three parts separated by . in the format of <header>.<body>.<signature>.


    After decoding the header value eyJ0eXAiOiJKV1QiLA0KICJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiJ9 of the ID token it looks as follows.

    This header section can contain any parameter described in the spec.

    After decoding the payload value of the ID token, it looks as follows. The payload can be an arbitrary sequence of octets, representing user attributes.

      "sub": "alice",
      "iss": "",
      "iat": 1416158541

Things to keep in mind when issuing an ID token

  1. Do not add any sensitive data to the token payload.
  2. Have a finite and short expiry time.
  3. Sign/encrypt the JWT properly and validate it from the client side.
  4. Include any additional optional parameters based on the use case.