Files: conf/, conf/intercept/consent-intercept-config.xml, messages/, views/intercept/attribute-release.vm, views/intercept/terms-of-use.vm
Format: Native Spring


The IdP includes the ability to require user consent to attribute release, as well as presenting a "terms of use" message prior to completing a login to a service, a simpler "static" form of consent.

Consent is implemented by the intercept/attribute-release and intercept/terms-of-use interceptor flows.

Enabling Module

Configuring and using this feature requires that you first enable the "idp.intercept.Consent" module if it isn't already enabled. Systems upgraded from older releases generally come pre-enabled due to the prior state of the configuration tree.

(Windows) C:\opt\shibboleth-idp> bin\module.bat -t idp.intercept.Consent || bin\module.bat -e idp.intercept.Consent (Other) $ bin/ -t idp.intercept.Consent || bin/ -e idp.intercept.Consent

Attribute release consent requires users to accept the release of attributes to Service Providers during front-channel authentication profiles that include attribute data in the response.

Note the "front-channel" caveat above. The default configuration prevents the consent intercept from imposing itself if it detects that attributes would not be included in the response and would instead perhaps be accessed via a back-channel query. This is true by default with SAML 1.1, for example.

The system does support the limited application of prior consent decisions by a user to the data released in a back-channel query, though this is disabled by default.

If you intend to use the consent feature and do not enable this support, it is your responsibility to ensure that attributes would not be accessible to the same relying parties via query or some other means. The system will not prevent this from happening if you leave features enabled that would allow this to happen.

Users are prompted to consent to attribute release :

  1. on initial access to service provider resources

  2. on release of an attribute to which consent has not been previously given

  3. when an attribute previously consented to is no longer released

  4. (optionally) when the value of an attribute previously consented to changes, see ConsentConfiguration#Attribute Release Value Comparison.

Attribute release consent is enabled for profiles that do user authentication via the postAuthenticationFlows property in conf/relying-party.xml.

Default relying party configuration
<bean id="shibboleth.DefaultRelyingParty" parent="RelyingParty"> <property name="profileConfigurations"> <list> <!-- SAML 1.1 and SAML 2.0 AttributeQuery are disabled by default. --> <!-- <bean parent="Shibboleth.SSO" p:postAuthenticationFlows="attribute-release" /> <ref bean="SAML1.AttributeQuery" /> <ref bean="SAML1.ArtifactResolution" /> --> <bean parent="SAML2.SSO" p:postAuthenticationFlows="attribute-release" /> <ref bean="SAML2.ECP" /> <ref bean="SAML2.Logout" /> <!-- <ref bean="SAML2.AttributeQuery" /> --> <ref bean="SAML2.ArtifactResolution" /> </list> </property> </bean>

To allow users to select the attributes they wish to be released, provided the attributes are not being released via a back-channel exchange, you can set the idp.consent.allowPerAttribute property in conf/

When a user rejects consent to attribute release, an AttributeReleaseRejected event will be signalled. The text presented to the user may be modified via standard ErrorHandlingConfiguration and via messages/ (see the Messages tab below).


The names and values of attributes displayed during consent may be customized. By default, the locale-aware attribute display name and display value are displayed. Customizing the localization information is generally handled through the rules defined in the AttributeRegistryConfiguration.

Selective Display

By default, users are prompted to consent to release all attributes unless specifically suppressed on a per-attribute basis. Suppressed attributes are released to relying parties but are not displayed to users.  A prompted list, ignored list, and match expressions determine whether consent should be obtained for an attribute based on the attribute ID.

To prevent an attribute from being displayed, add the attribute ID to the ignored list or exclude it by a match expression. The ignored list and match expression override the prompted list.



Bean name conf/intercept/consent-intercept-config.xml



Bean name conf/intercept/consent-intercept-config.xml


Attribute IDs for which users should be prompted to consent



Attribute IDs for which users should not be prompted to consent



Attribute IDs matching a regular expression that users should be prompted to consent



Attributes are, by default, displayed in the natural order of their IDs. Deployers may wish to customize the order in which attributes are displayed to users, in order to present the most relevant or personal attributes first.

The order in which attributes are displayed to users may be customized by providing a list of attribute IDs. Attributes not in the list will still be sorted in their natural order, but subsequent to attributes in the list. Define the bean named shibboleth.consent.attribute-release.AttributeDisplayOrder in conf/intercept/consent-intercept-config.xml representing the desired order. The values of the list are attribute IDs. 

The following example displays the mail attribute first and then all other attributes in alphabetic order by ID:

<bean id="shibboleth.consent.attribute-release.CustomAttributeIDComparator" class="org.example.CustomAttributeIDComparator" />

For advanced customization of the attribute display order, a custom Comparator may be provided. Define a bean named shibboleth.consent.attribute-release.AttributeIDComparator in conf/intercept/consent-intercept-config.xml which implements Comparator<String>. For example:

Users may choose from three options when deciding the duration of their consent to attribute release. The duration options and descriptive text may be customized via messages/

Duration Option


Duration Option


"Ask me again at next login"

Users will be prompted to consent to attribute release at every log in. This is implemented by not storing consent.

"Ask me again if information to be provided to this service changes"

The default. Users will be prompted to consent to attribute release if attributes have changed since consent was previously given.

"Do not ask me again"

Optional. Users will not be prompted to consent to attribute release again. All attributes will be released to any service provider. The presence of this option is controlled by the idp.consent.allowGlobal property.


By default, users are prompted to consent to attribute release if a "new" attribute is released or if an "old" attribute is no longer released. "New" and "old" in this context indicate whether consent has already been given to an attribute ID regardless of the attribute's values. In other words, by default, users are not prompted to consent to attribute release if an attribute's values change.

To prompt users to consent to attribute release if the values of an attribute have changed, set idp.consent.compareValues to true in conf/

Prompting users to consent to attribute release if an attribute's value changes requires additional storage capability, because the hash of an attribute's values must be stored for comparison. If client-side storage without use of HTML Local Storage is used to store consent, comparing attribute values may reduce the number of records that may be stored. Since a consent record is stored for every Service Provider, this may increase how often users are prompted to consent to attribute release

Consent to terms of use is not enabled by default. To enable it, you will need to :

  1. Configure terms of use message(s) to suit your needs.

  2. Enable the terms of use intercept flow for the cases it should appear.

Configuring Messages

The "terms" are managed as Spring messages via the messages/ file (or localized versions of it) (see ConsentConfiguration#Messages).

The title and message of the terms of use page displayed to users is derived using the bean named shibboleth.consent.terms-of-use.Key, which defaults to the relying party ID. For example:

You may add additional terms of use messages and web page titles specific to relying parties using this mechanism. Each key is mapped to a specific prefix used in the corresponding pair of message properties.

Customizing the Mapping of Relying Party to Terms of Use Message and Title

To customize the mapping of relying party to terms of use message and title, you override the shibboleth.consent.terms-of-use.Key bean in conf/intercept/consent-intercept-config.xml. The following example use a utility class available in the Guava library to turn a map into a compliant Function that is composed with a call to lookup the relying party ID. The example isn't all that interesting, but it illustrates the indirection. You can map multiple SPs to a single vale, and so forth.

Using One Terms of Use Message for Every Relying Party

To configure a single terms of use page for every relying party, override the bean named shibboleth.consent.terms-of-use.Key in conf/intercept/consent-intercept-config.xml:

and define the terms of use message and title in messages/

Enabling Terms Of Use Intercept Flow

To enable the flow, you would add terms-of-use to the postAuthenticationFlows profile setting in conf/relying-party.xml.

For example for use with SAML 2.0 requests, replace:

with :

When a user rejects consent to terms of use, a TermsRejected event will be signaled. The text presented to the user may be modified via standard ErrorHandlingConfiguration and via messages/ (see ConsentConfiguration#Messages).

User Interface

The user interface for the attribute release and terms of use consent flows are implemented as Velocity templates, views/intercept/attribute-release.vm and views/intercept/terms-of-use.vm respectively.

The templates can be customized in a similar way to the login pages and other views.

Messages displayed to users may be localized in the standard Spring way, for example, by providing messages/ Some translations are already included in the distribution.

Users may revoke previous consent choices by selecting a checkbox on the login page (views/login.vm).

The text of the checkbox displayed on the login page is set by the idp.attribute-release.revoke message ID, overridable in messages/


In order to remember users' consent choices and to prompt users to consent to attribute release if attributes change, users' consent choices must be persisted by a storage service. User consent may be stored either client-side (cookies or HTML5 Local Storage) or server-side (database). The default is to store consent client-side via Local Storage, not out of any particular belief that it makes sense, but because it allows easy deployment of the feature for demonstration.

The storage service used to store consent is configured by the idp.consent.StorageService property in conf/

See StorageConfiguration for more on the configuration of various approaches to storage.


By default, consent audit logs are written to logs/idp-consent-audit.log as defined in conf/logback.xml.

The format of consent audit logs are defined by the shibboleth.consent.attribute-release.AuditFormattingMap and shibboleth.consent.terms-of-use.AuditFormattingMap beans in conf/intercept/consent-intercept-config.xml

See ConsentAuditFields and also the AuditLoggingConfiguration for additional fields available without additional work.

Activation Conditions

Consent flows (like any other interceptor flow) may be run conditionally based on ActivationConditions.

Because the attribute release flow has an internal condition attached already, customizing the condition for it requires combining the default activation condition with the custom activation condition. By default, the attribute release flow is not activated if both (1) attributes are not pushed and (2) per attribute consent is enabled.

The terms of use flow does not have a default activation condition.


Consent flows may be activated based on the presence (or absence) of a particular attribute or value for a user. The following example activates the attribute release flow if an attribute is present by combining the default activation condition with a custom condition.

To combine your own condition with the system default, you would define your bean in, e.g., conf/global.xml:

Custom condition bean in global.xml

Then define the property idp.consent.attribute-release.activationCondition to example.AttributeReleaseCondition (your custom bean's ID) to install it and it will be combined with the system's default condition for you.