A letter from IdentityNORTH Co-Chair, Aran Hamilton

This week we lost a giant in the digital identity space and a leader in the IdentityNORTH community. Kim Cameron was recognized in 2016 as a Founder of Canada’s Digital Economy for his work in recognition of his foundational and groundbreaking work writing the “7 Laws of Identity” (2005). 

Kim was the Chief Architect of Identity in the Identity and Access Division at Microsoft, where he championed the emergence of a privacy-enhancing Identity Metasystem reaching across technologies, industries, vendors, continents and cultures. Kim played a leading role in the evolution of Active Directory, Federation Services, Forefront Identity Manager, CardSpace and 

Microsoft’s other Identity Metasystem products. In 2009, he was appointed a Microsoft Distinguished Engineer.

A true friend and mentor to many of us, Kim spoke at IdentityNORTH on several occasions. His talk in 2012 was “Cloud Identity Aha Realizations”, Kim helped us kick off the public consultation for the BC Services Card in Vancouver in 2014, speaking with Don Thibeau as we worked to help the BC Government plan the roll-out of their digital ID program. 

Kim was actually the inspiration for the Award that we started in 2015 but we made him wait for it. He spoke to us twice in 2016, first as the Keynote for our Annual Summit “Beyond the Laws of Identity referring to his ground-breaking work and taking us through what he felt he missed when he published his Laws. Kim spoke later on the importance of the community when he received recognition as a Founder of Canada’s Digital Economy

Kim joined us again in 2020, after he retired from Microsoft and gave a different sort of talk. His keynote at the IdentityNORTH Annual Summit was a sort of career retrospective, a humble recount of some regrets regarding his work and a call for us to pick up where he was leaving off. Always introspective, Kim wished he’d focused more on creating inclusive solutions for individual and enterprise identity challenges and he wanted us to learn from his mistakes. Once again Kim was ahead of his time, thoughtful, and thought-provoking with a large measure of humour and wit. 

It was an honour to learn from him, and our community will continue to drive forward his work in shaping and implementing meaningful digital identity solutions.

In our most recent chat over Zoom, Kim gave IdentityNORTH advice on a series of talks he thought we should host in the coming months and years. He spoke of his expectations of the world in covid, and after, and very eagerly of getting to spend virtual time with his very young grandchildren. He remarked at the resilience of children, and their ability to connect emotionally even when presented with technological barriers… and how much fun he was having getting to know them as real people. Our sincere condolences to Kim’s family, we will all miss Kim for his many contributions to our lives and the passion he brought to the IdentityNORTH community.