Microsoft this morning announced that it has acquired the technology and patents of Credentica, a Montreal-based provider of identity management solutions. The team, led by Stefan Brands, will join Microsoft’s Identity and Access Group.
Brands is the inventor of private credentials technology which allows a user to prove something about their identity without disclosing more information than is absolutely necessary. For example, a voter can prove unequivocally that they have the right to vote in the state of California, without having to disclose their name or other personal information. As more and more of our lives moves online, privacy is increasingly becoming an issue that cannot be ignored. Most solutions require that you trust a third party (such as your bank, government, or Google), while Brands’ approach uses advanced cryptographic techniques that do not re.
The technology has previously found temporary homes at now defunct DigiCash and then Zero-Knowledge Systems, neither of which were able to succeed in commercializing the patents. But our plan is to integrateMicrosoft says it plans to integrate Credentica’s U-Prove technology into both the Windows Communication Foundation (WCF) and CardSpace.
I’ve known Stefan personally for nearly a decade now, and wish him the best of luck in this new chapter of his professional life.
Update: I’ll be writing a follow up post with an interview from Stefan focusing more on the personal side of his journey as an entrepreneur. Watch my blog for more.