Microsoft’s former chief privacy adviser and respected privacy expert Caspar Bowden has reportedly died, according to the German site Netzpolitik.org.
Bowden worked at Microsoft from 2002 to 2011, although he famously said after his tenure “I don’t trust Microsoft now.”
Bowden was also an outspoken and influential privacy advocate. He co-founded the British NGO the Foundation for Information Policy Research — on which he is still listed as advisory council — which dubs itself the “leading think tank for Internet policy in Britain.”
He also worked to educate politicians and businesses about privacy and data protection, giving a series of talks and writing papers about the perils of cloud computing.
Even before the Snowden revelations, Bowden feared possible government surveillance via backdoors in the cloud and the sweeping US legislation known as the Federal Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). In fact, he tweeted last year that he was fired from Microsoft for speaking up about precisely these issues.
His friends, colleagues, and admirers have already taken to Twitter to express their sadness.