3rd Party Login FAQ

We get a lot of questions about the use of Google, Yahoo, Microsoft, or Facebook logins. Just like all of our customers we are concerned with the security of login information and the proliferation of private data across the internet. This is intended to answer questions and help relieve some of the fears and concerns people have about these logins.

Why do I have to login?

When you want to create, share, or use a map between sessions we have to know who you are. We use a unique identifier to associate your saved account information back to your login. On the app we require all users to login because of how integral checking permissions for downloading map layers and access to layers. At some point the future we may allow a guest account on the app that can't save maps and doesn't need a login, but at this point we don't support this.

Why can't I just create a username/password for CalTopo?

Developing safe and secure login practices, storage of passwords, verification of identity for reset or account or passwords all take a large amount of time, development effort and money. We went with an open protocol for verifying user identity called OpenID to ensure that this process was safe and cost effective.

What is OpenID?

The protocol used is OpenID (https://openid.net/what-is-openid/) which facilitates verification of a user by established login procedures, its used by several major tech companies. It's validated, secure, and well supported.

Is my Google, Yahoo, etc, account now linked to CalTopo?

CalTopo receives an electronic identifying information that is unique to the user, it could be a number/letter string or an e-mail address. We use that unique ID to set up your CalTopo account. We cannot see your e-mail account, your fantasy football team, or any information saved with that group.

Can I create an account just to login and use CalTopo?

Absolutely, you can create a free account on Yahoo, Google, Microsoft, etc. and use that account to login to CalTopo, it doesn't have to be your primary user name with that service. Just make sure you set up a way to recover your password with that service, we are not able to reset your password with an external service.

Can CalTopo see my user/name or password for these services?

Nope! CalTopo only sees that the authentication was completed, and a unique user ID for you and your e-mail address (used to identify you as a customer and your account).