Microsoft, in support of the ID2020 Alliance

https://blogs.microsoft.com/blog/2018/01/22/partnering-for-a-path-to-digital-identity/

And this:
https://cloudblogs.microsoft.com/enterprisemobility/2018/02/12/decentralized-digital-identities-and-blockchain-the-future-as-we-see-it/

Somehow a digital identity control built on top of a centralized cloud structure (Azure) from a company that was found guilty of being a monopoly, and is based in the USA under control of Trump’s Justice Department does not inspire me to huge heaps of confidence.

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Couldn’t have put it more succinctly.

This initiative is generating some excitement. This points to the larger ongoing conversation about whether the path to “tech we trust” must run away from the major corporate players that dominate the landscape now, or if they themselves might become part of the transformation we seek. https://www.wired.com/story/refugees-but-on-the-blockchain/amp?__twitter_impression=true

These kinds of announcements always have a question mark for me. I remember too many similar announcements back in the late 90’s and early 00’s where the intent was not ‘pure’ but ultimate manipulation of the market.

I had the same reaction and feeling when Microsoft announced their Hyperledger fabric and all their ‘open source’ DLT offerings.

I guess, proof will be, as they say, in the pudding…

Can a tiger change its stripes???

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Well said @michael_shea. Either such things are a defensive play to somehow maintain ‘control’. Or perhaps, it represents an abdication, a recognition that the playing field is transformed. Perhaps, where one of the ‘big 5’ sees their peers in this rarified grouping securing a competitive advantage, they might pursue a completely open and decentralized alternative purely to deposition their immediate competitor. I can’t help but see Apple’s relatively recent championing of privacy as a strategic attack on Google / Android first and foremost. I may be wrong / too cyncical, but the outcome matters more than the motivations anyway.

Interestingly, Apple’s shots at Google have been going on for at least 3 years now. I distinctly remember Tim Cook taking shots during a WWDC keynote on personal ownership of data.

The key here is Apple is in a fundamentally different business, they want you to buy new hardware, every couple of years. So, there is far less incentive to monetize your data. This theme has been again continued with the HomePod. They seem to have been very deliberate around making sure that PII data is not under their control, and that even the activation of the HomePod does not require the device to ‘call home’ first. (A la, it is not in active monitoring mode and streaming audio back to Apple constantly).

I may be naïve , but I feel Apple’s game is different.

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