Kim Cameron, digital-identity expert, leaves Microsoft

Kim Cameron, a Microsoft Distinguished Engineer and Chief Architect of Identity, left Microsoft as of May 4.
Written by Mary Jo Foley, Senior Contributing Editor

Kim Cameron, a Microsoft Distinguished Engineer and Chief Architect of Identity, left Microsoft as of May 4, according to my contacts.

Cameron is known for authoring the well-known and -regarded  "Laws of Identity" principles. He has been a champion of user-centric identity architecture at the company, and guided Microsoft's identity work in Active Directory, Federation Services, Forefront and CardSpace. He was working on Microsoft's Next Generation Active Directory (NGAD), a federation service designed to enable users to federate directories across the phone, the PC and the cloud.

There are a number of tweets reporting Cameron's departure. One of my sources said there was a goodbye part for him in Redmond yesterday. I've asked Microsoft to confirm it officially and for comment as to whether there are plans to replace him. No word back so far.

Update (May 9): A Microsoft spokesperson said the company had no comment. But here's one Microsoft employee's blog post noting Cameron's retirement.

Microsoft announced it was doing away with CardSpace in February of this year. CardSpace, which got its start as “Windows InfoCard,” was an attempt to represent an individual’s digital identity that the user could use to communicate with a third-party entity.

Microsoft's Identity group is in the midst of management flux. Corporate Vice President Lee Nackman, who joined Microsoft in 2009, has been Corporate Vice President, Directory, Access, and Information Protection, is giving up his role and -- last we heard -- moving into a new role as head of the billing and provisioning parts of Microsoft's Online Services organization. The company is in the midst of a search for a replacement for Nackman.

Cameron joined Microsoft in 1999 as part of Microsoft's ZoomIt Corp. acquisition. According to his Microsoft biography, "as VP of Technology at ZoomIt, (Cameron) invented metadirectory technology and built the first shipping product."

Last year, another of Microsoft's high-profile identity leaders, Dick Hardt, left the company after just over a year at Microsoft.

News of Cameron's departure occurred on the day that the Windows Live team announced plans to support OAuth 2.0 in the next version of its developer platform, Messenger Connect. OAuth 2.0, an IETF specification for a set of Internet authentication technologies.

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