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Microsoft ID expert confirms departure from Redmond

Kim Cameron worries about industry trends on privacy, security

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Kim Cameron has broken his silence and confirmed that he has indeed quit his identity architect job at Microsoft.

In an interview posted on the ID conferences website, Cameron said he was worried about what he described as "forward-facing issues" at the software company.

He went on to explain that Redmond's core plans on identity access would "still be put in place", and pushed aside suggestions that Microsoft was neglecting development of its ID technology.

Cameron said any big business, such as Google or Microsoft, which sells its wares in the cloud understands that the infrastructure is dependent on ID technology.

"My concerns are things like privacy and security," he said. "Microsoft has a very good record on that over the last number of years. I expect and hope it to continue. But I look at the industry as a whole, and Microsoft is part of that industry.

"Trends that happen in the industry will affect Microsoft ... This shouldn't just be a concern for me, it should be a concern for everybody."

Cameron said that he was disappointed about the lack of an industry advocate championing what he has dubbed "user-centric identity", which is about keeping various bits of an individual's online life totally separated.

"[That model] can be much more effective than shotgun splattering of ads or profiling that alienates us and makes us feel like robots are ruling our lives. Lots of people are set about this," said Cameron, who used Microsoft, Google and Facebook as examples of companies pursuing those strategies.

"My view is that those things will come to the thaw in certain companies, and those companies will have an advantage."

As The Register reported yesterday, Microsoft has quietly been making changes to its identity access group by shifting some of its key engineers out of the team in favour of fresh blood at the company's cryptography division.

Microsoft is searching for a senior software development engineer to improve its U-Prove technology, which, El Reg understands, is currently without a leader.

Sources have told us that key engineers on the identity access team in Redmond, including Lee Nackman and Craig Wittenberg, were recently sidelined.

The Reg has asked Microsoft to tell us what changes are afoot for its U-Prove technology, as well as the group tasked with steering its respected cryptography unit.

But Redmond is yet to comment on this story. ®

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