UTORauth. Here's how it works.
UTORauth is the University of Toronto's central authorization and authentication database. Your life in UTORauth starts when you first enter the university; perhaps as a student or staff member, maybe just as a temporary contractor doing work for the U of T. UTORauth collects ID data from a variety of authoritative sources around campus and merges all of this information together. Once we know who you are, we issue you a UTORid.
Think of the UTORid like your digital driver's license. You need one to navigate the highways and byways of the U of T's electronic resources. This UTORid, along with the password you choose, will be the primary method of validating yourself to each of the many websites, applications and portals that make up the U of T's internet presence.
Once you have authenticated yourself to an application, it will have to decide what you are authorized to do. Similar to the way that presenting your driver's licence at the passport office and the bank will give you different sets of privileges. Applications do this by querying UTORauth's central database of roles. Is she a student? Graduate or undergraduate? Is he a staff member? Is she a faculty member? It is up to the application to decide what you are allowed to do based on who you are.
All this talk of UTORids and services may leave you wanting to know more about the UTORid, or wondering how to get one. These two documents are a good place to look next to find answers to these questions: