Ben Laurie blathering

Microsoft Buys Credentica

Kim and Stefan blog about Microsoft’s acquisition of Stefan’s selective disclosure patents and technologies, which I’ve blogged about many times before.

This is potentially great news, especially if one interprets Kim’s

Our goal is that Minimal Disclosure Tokens will become base features of identity platforms and products, leading to the safest possible intenet. I don’t think the point here is ultimately to make a dollar. It’s about building a system of identity that can withstand the ravages that the Internet will unleash.

in the most positive way. Unfortunately, comments such as this from Stefan

Microsoft plans to integrate the technology into Windows Communication Foundation and Windows Cardspace.

and this from Microsoft’s Privacy folk

When this technology is broadly available in Microsoft products (such as Windows Communication Foundation and Windows Cardspace), enterprises, governments, and consumers all stand to benefit from the enhanced security and privacy that it will enable.

sound more like the Microsoft we know and love.

I await developments with interest.


  1. Ben,

    I think there is reason for deep and serious concern here. Brands deserve all the credit possible for inventing this and taking it so far. But leaving these kinds of market controls of critical elements of something as important as identity and privacy in hands of MS is – mildly put – disturbing.

    Problem is that this technology HAS to be available as it need to be closely tied with the very basic identity controls in smartcards etc. – and these are NOT going to be MS controlled.

    There is – in my view – a high probability that this will lead to yet another EU court case on MS. probably already as an anti-trust case denying the acceptance of the deal due to monopolly considerations.

    It of course depends if MS – again – try to bundle this technology with other MS products and online services.

    Comment by Stephan Engberg — 7 Mar 2008 @ 0:00

  2. […] crypto. Today their technology and patents were acquired by Microsoft as you can read here, here, here, here and here. I want to congratulate Stefan personally. Here’s a fellow […]

    Pingback by In Context » Congratulations to Stefan, Greg and Christian! — 7 Mar 2008 @ 15:59

  3. I expect to see a domino effect from the acquisition of Stefan’s patents. It will lead (hopefully quite soon) to broad diffusion of this kind of technology.

    Comment by Paul Trevithick — 7 Mar 2008 @ 16:05

  4. […] overview of other reactions is at Kim’s latest blog post. The cruicial issue has, again, been pointed out by Ben Laurie, who quotes the Microsoft Privacy Team’s blog: When this technology is broadly […]

    Pingback by IdentityBlog - Digital Identity, Privacy, and the Internet's Missing Identity Layer — 10 Mar 2008 @ 5:00

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