I got word early last week that Kim Cameron, a giant of the identity world, had passed away. I was shocked. I still am. Kim was one of those people who played such a big role in my life over so many years, that it’s hard to imagine he’s not there any more. The week before we’d been scheduled to talk and he’d canceled cause he wasn’t feeling well. He wanted to talk about verifiable credential exchange over OpenID Connect SIOP. I guess we’ll never get that last talk.
I had met Kim and talked to him at several identity conferences back in the early 2000’s. But my relationship with him grew into friendship through Internet Identity Workshop (IIW). We held the first IIW in October 2005. Along with many others, Kim was there to talk about his ideas and plans for identity. He’d already published his Laws of Identity
and was working on a project called Information Cards
At that first IIW, we went to dinner at the end of day one. The idea was that everyone would pay for their own meal since the workshop hadn’t collected any money in the registration for that. Kim, with his typical generosity, told everyone that Microsoft would buy dinner…and drinks. Later he confided to me that he wasn’t sure Microsoft would really pick up the tab—which turned out to be surprisingly large because of the alcohol—but he’d make sure it was covered either way. That started a tradition. Microsoft has sponsored the workshop dinner at every in-person IIW we’ve held. Not only with dinner, but in countless other ways, Kim’s participation and support was instrumental in building IIW over the years.