Bill Gates and Craig Mundie on identity and privacy

Here are some of the top level messages from the Microsoft RSA Conference Keynote press release.  I thought Bill Gates and Craig Mundie spoke extremely well about identity this morning.  In the speech, Bill announced the industry initiative to converge the capabilities of CardSpace and OpenID that we've been discussing here.  This includes support for OpenID in future Microsoft identity products.   

“Security is the fundamental challenge that will determine whether we can successfully create a new generation of connected experiences that enable people to have anywhere access to communications, content and information,” Gates said. “The answer for the industry lies in our ability to design systems and processes that give people and organizations a high degree of confidence that the technology they use will protect their identity, their privacy and their information.”

“To create the level of seamless, pervasive connectivity that will make secure anywhere access a reality, continued collaboration and cooperation across this industry is essential,” Mundie added. “If we can work together to enhance trust, it will open the door to a transformation in the way people share experiences, explore ideas and create opportunities.”

Gates and Mundie said that to further advance trust and enable anywhere access, there are three key technological areas for industry focus and momentum:

    Evolution of networks. As businesses and the industry move forward on redefining network boundaries, policy will become the driving force for managing access — not the physical topology of the network. The goal is for the network and the Internet to appear and work as if the boundaries between them are seamless, so access for users is easier and faster.
    Evolution of protection. To achieve this anywhere access vision, customers need comprehensive security products and services that integrate seamlessly with each other and existing infrastructure and that are easy to use and manage. There is a necessity for the industry to enable greater protection, not only when information is in transit but also when it is created and where it resides, whether on the server, the desktop or a mobile device.
    Evolution of identity. Today, individuals and businesses struggle with an increasing number of digital identities to manage and the increased level of complexity and risk that goes with them. The industry’s collaborative efforts around the development of an identity metasystem are the right direction, and customers need this system to be based on standard protocols that address heterogeneous infrastructures in order to reduce the complexity of managing identities across networks and the Web.

There are a lot more details about many different initiatives here.


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Kim Cameron

Work on identity.