coondoggie writes "Protecting and classifying sensitive information such as social security numbers shouldn't be that hard, but (perhaps not surprisingly) the US government has elevated complicating that task to an art form. It seems that designating, safeguarding, and disseminating such important information involves over 100 unique markings and at least 130 different labeling or handling routines, reflecting a disjointed, inconsistent, and unpredictable system for protecting, sharing, and disclosing sensitive information."
This was the conclusion of a recent report
(PDF) by the Government Accountability Office, which also "found areas where sensitive information is not fully safeguarded and thus may
remain at risk of unauthorized disclosure or misuse."