As you know, many of the challenges associated with the Internet stem from the lack of widely deployed, easily understood, and secure identity solutions. The rapid proliferation of online theft and the widespread misuse of personal information are threatening to erode public trust in the Internet and thus limit its growth and potential.
Microsoft rejects the idea of a monolithic identity management system and does not believe that one will emerge. Instead, we have directed our efforts toward developing an overarching framework – an Identity Metasystem – that connects different identity systems and sets out standards and protocols for ensuring user security online. The Identity Metasystem is not a specific product or solution, but rather an interoperable architecture that allows Internet users to use context-specific identities in their various online interactions.
Many of the concepts of the Identify Metasystem represent an expansion of the seven "Laws of Identity" proposed by Kim Cameron, Microsoft’s identity architect, and further developed through a broad and open dialogue with the industry as well as academics and privacy experts. We believe these concepts fit naturally into the EU Data Protection framework and other widely accepted privacy regimes essential to enhancing online security and privacy.
Several papers are available on this topic at http://www.identityblog.com. However, I would like to draw your attention to the whitepaper entitled "The Identity Metasystem: Towards a Privacy-Compliant Solution to the Challenges of Digital Identity" as it provides an overall overview of the initiative.
I hope you will take the time to download and read the paper and as always would welcome your comments, or blog them at Kim Cameron’s Identity Blog.