Network Working Group E. Pot
Internet-Draft October 02, 2019
Intended status: Standards Track
Expires: April 4, 2020

Link relationship types for authentication


This specification defines a set of relationships that may be used to indicate where a user may authenticate, log out, register a new account or find out who is currently authenticated.

Status of This Memo

This Internet-Draft is submitted in full conformance with the provisions of BCP 78 and BCP 79.

Internet-Drafts are working documents of the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF). Note that other groups may also distribute working documents as Internet-Drafts. The list of current Internet-Drafts is at

Internet-Drafts are draft documents valid for a maximum of six months and may be updated, replaced, or obsoleted by other documents at any time. It is inappropriate to use Internet-Drafts as reference material or to cite them other than as "work in progress."

This Internet-Draft will expire on April 4, 2020.

Copyright Notice

Copyright (c) 2019 IETF Trust and the persons identified as the document authors. All rights reserved.

This document is subject to BCP 78 and the IETF Trust's Legal Provisions Relating to IETF Documents ( in effect on the date of publication of this document. Please review these documents carefully, as they describe your rights and restrictions with respect to this document. Code Components extracted from this document must include Simplified BSD License text as described in Section 4.e of the Trust Legal Provisions and are provided without warranty as described in the Simplified BSD License.

1. Introduction

[RFC8288] defines a framework and registry for Link Relationships types. This specification defines a set of new relationship types to aid clients in discovering endpoints for authentication and registration: authenticate, authenticated-as, logout and register-user.

1.1. Usage examples

1.1.1. Browsers

Many websites already provide these features. If these links are annotated with a standard relationship type, it might allow browser extensions to automatically discover these and present them in new ways. It could for example show a browser-level logout button.

Link relationships such as these could appear on any page where Sign in, Register, Log in or Log out features exist.

1.1.2. Web services

Many webservices provide a resource to discover more information about the authenticated entity. Creating standard link relationships might allow a generic client to discover information about the currently logged in user.

Similarly, an authenticate link could allow a generic client to find an OAuth2 Authorization endpoint.

This link relationship could appear on any API endpoint where this might be relevant, or it might just show up on central endpoint discovery document.

2. authenticate

The authenticate can be used to link to a resource that hosts a page where a user can authenticate itself for the current resource.

For example, this link might refer to a HTML login page.


<a href="/login" rel="authenticate">Login</a>

3. authenticated-as

The authenticated-as link refers to a resource that describes the effective authenticated user for a HTTP response.

Following this link might allow a client to answer the question ‘who am I?’. This might link to a user profile page, or it might link to an API that returns a JSON response with user information.


Link: <>; rel="authenticated-as"

4. logout

The logout refers to a resource where an authenticated user might end their session.

In a browser this might clear cookies, or in the case of OAuth2 it could revoke any active authentication tokens.

5. register-user

The register-user Link Relation refers to a resource where a user might sign up for a service for the context URI.

The linked resource might contain a HTML registration form, or otherwise instructions that allow a client to find out how to sign up for the service.

6. IANA considerations

This document defines authenticate, authenticated-as, logout and register-user link relation types and adds them to the “Link Relations” registry:

6.1. authenticate link relation

6.2. authenticated-as link relation

6.3. logout link relation

6.4. register-user link relation

7. Normative References

[RFC8288] Nottingham, M., "Web Linking", RFC 8288, DOI 10.17487/RFC8288, October 2017.

Appendix A. Changelog

A.1. Changes since -00

Author's Address

Evert Pot EMail: URI:

Table of Contents