In Praise of Kim Cameron

Much is made of attributes like “opinion leader”, “domain expert”, and “mentor”. Kim Cameron was all that and much more. Our colleague Joerg Resch has eloquently memorialized Kim’s many contributions to our industry as “fundamentally influencing the way we think about and deal with privacy and digital identity”. Not only did Kim “inject his 7 laws of identity into Microsoft’s DNA”, but did so throughout today’s growing global digital identity ecosystem.

Kim was crafty. He not only injected his thinking into Microsoft; as a champion of the Identity Standards Community, Kim embedded his thinking into the standards that inform many of the identity systems operating at scale today. Kim’s domain expertise went beyond his considerable engineering chops. He had a deep understanding of the interplay between the rapid pace of technical innovation, the practicalities of market adoption, and the constraints of government regulation.

Organizations like the OpenID Foundation and the Open Identity Exchange are among those that benefited from his early advocacy and sustained support. Many of us are proud to call him a mentor and remember him fondly for his intellectual openness and generosity of spirit. The occasion of Kim’s passing reminds us of our debt to those who volunteered their time and talents, broke new ground, and helped clear the path we follow today.

Both our professional and personal lives are better because of Kim. Despite his untimely passing, his contributions and memory will carry on into the better future he helped create.