In an introduction to the Liberty Alliance identity federation, Frank Sommers writes "Username and password boxes are annoying because they present an experience without close parallel in the off-line world. When returning home after a long day's work, once you unlock your front door, you can freely move about without identifying yourself to your kitchen appliances, your bathtub, or the television set. Inside your home, you gain complete access even to your checkbook without that checkbook asking for a username and password."
By giving users complete control over their online identity profiles, Liberty contrasts with the "big brother" view of an identity provider. Liberty acknowledges that a user's identity information is likely scattered across many databases and service providers, and does not require that you give up those local identities in favor of a master, knows-it-all account.