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At my request Qiaochu kindly merged my two accounts here a few days ago ("elgeorges" and "user 3247") .
As a completely unexpected result, I got a reputation bonus on another stackexchange site , English Language & Usage.
What baffles me is that on the other site I am registered under my real name and I found a message there to the effect that the bonus had been attributed automatically because I was a user here on math.stackexchange.
How did they know that I was "elgeorges"? Since that pseudonym is a transparent shortening of my name, this "translation" would be trivial for a human but the automatically of the welcome message on the other site baffles me. Since Qiaochu informs me that he is not the source of the translation, could someone please explain what happened?

[Needless to say I am not complaining about this completely undeserved bonus: it seems that injustice in our favour is taken with much equanimity]

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    $\begingroup$ At a guess, because both accounts use the same login information (same OpenID)? $\endgroup$ – Isaac May 25 '11 at 19:04
  • $\begingroup$ No,Isaac, username and password are different. Anyway,I hope stackexchange (or any entity distinct from OpenId) doesn't have access to my passsword. $\endgroup$ – Georges Elencwajg May 25 '11 at 20:23
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    $\begingroup$ No, anytime you use OpenID login, your password is only given to the OpenID provider, not to the site you're logging into with your OpenID. If it's not joining your accounts based on OpenID, then perhaps based on email address? $\endgroup$ – Isaac May 25 '11 at 21:12
  • $\begingroup$ Fantastic suggestion, Isaac, this must be it! Since my intention had never been to really hide my identity here, I gave my usual professional email address and forgot about it. And thanks a lot, Isaac, this little mystery was really annoying me! $\endgroup$ – Georges Elencwajg May 25 '11 at 21:31
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Account matching is generally done by matching emails from whitelisted providers -- that is, identity providers who validate emails (or own that email outright).

e.g. we assume that Google, being Google, can verify that example@gmail.com is your actual email account and not someone else's...

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  • $\begingroup$ In my case the provider is my university: are such institutions automatically considered whitelisted? $\endgroup$ – Georges Elencwajg May 25 '11 at 22:01

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