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Linking Accounts

DirectAuth supports the linking of user accounts from various identity providers. This allows a user to authenticate from any of their accounts and still be recognized by your app and associated with the same public/private key.

It is possible to link accounts via two methods; user initiated links between accounts after login or via a common unique identifier across logins used.

User Initiated Linking#

This process of linking accounts merges two existing user profiles into a single one. When linking accounts, a primary login and a secondary login must be specified.

The way this works behind the scenes is we store the difference nonce between the primary login key A and secondary key B on a self-hosted/public storage layer (e.g. IPFS with a cached server) for future retrieval.

When next time when the user logs into his/her secondary login he/she reconstructs privKeyA through the sum of nonce and privKeyB

// Connecting Login A with Login BprivKeyA - privKeyB = nonce
// We store nonce on storage layer// Next time a user logs in with Login BprivKeyA = privKeyB + nonce

Suggesting users to account link#

You can find accounts with the same email, and prompt the users to link them. For example, a user can create an account with Google with the, and then log in with Facebook, with an account linked to the same email.

If that occurs, you can show users the list of available accounts so they can link them, by first authenticating with the account they will be linking to.

Common Unique Identifier#

Several logins in DirectAuth have common datafields for users. For example, Google and traditional email logins share that they use email accounts to identify a user. Take a look at Supported Logins for more details here.

We can automatically join accounts here via Aggregate Logins. There are some nuances here when considering how to join users, and mostly joins other than email are not recommended.