Application programming interface key
An application programming interface key (API key) is a code passed in by computer programs calling an API (application programming interface) to identify the calling program, its developer, or its user to the Web site. API keys are used to track and control how the API is being used, for example to prevent malicious use or abuse of the API (as defined perhaps by terms of service).
The API key often acts as both a unique identifier and a secret token for authentication, and will generally have a set of access rights on the API associated with it.
- Shopping.com. "What is an API Key and how do I get one?".
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