Federated identity management systems synthesise complex and fragmented user information into a single entity. Literature from the identity management system providers note this integration extends many benefits to the end user and the privileges provided by digital identity authentication schemes have been well documented from this perspective. Less explored however, are the perceptions of federation from the user’s perspective. This paper attempts to address this gap by reporting on independent research conducted by Novell, The University of Melbourne and Monash University that examines the relationship between identity and technology. It emerges that while current federated systems satisfy user needs by allowing the construction of multiple digital data sets, the fragments of which are moored to a central identifier, they fail to provide the user with control over the capability to act in the ‘hatch’, ‘match’ and ‘dispatch’ phases of the digital identity lifecycle. Ultimately, this reduces the user’s trust in providers and results in reluctance to disclose personal details.