Today, Microsoft is announcing that it has acquired the U-Prove technology from Credentica. This technology will help Internet users get more control of their personal information by allowing them to disclose the minimal amount of information required in any electronic transaction. Additionally, Microsoft has hired Dr. Stefan Brands and his teammates, who developed the technology.
The ability to verify individuals’ identities and authorize them for online transactions, while protecting privacy, continues to be a challenge for the industry. The majority of identity and authorization solutions today often require individuals to provide too much personal information, posing a threat to privacy by increasing the potential for online identity theft and misuse of personal information. The U-Prove™ technology helps to protect privacy by providing phishing-resistant, secure blind tokens that put users in control of their personal information by allowing them to disclose just the right amount of information required in any electronic transaction. Blind tokens use cryptography to prevent systems from aggregating information about users from multiple sources and contexts, helping to ensure user privacy. The acquisition also helps demonstrate progress towards our long-term commitment to privacy and security as part of our Trustworthy Computing initiative.
Microsoft plans to integrate the U-Prove technology into technologies such as Windows Communication Foundation and Windows Cardspace, enabling everyone from developers to consumers to utilize and benefit from these technologies. The integration of the U-Prove technology and the expertise from the founders will advance Microsoft’s efforts to promote a privacy-centric Identity Metasystem and provide secure, private and reliable computing experiences based on sound business practices.