Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI)

CUI Category: Sensitive Personally Identifiable Information

Category Description:

A subset of PII that, if lost, compromised or disclosed without authorization could result in substantial harm, embarrassment, inconvenience, or unfairness to an individual.  Some forms of PII are sensitive as stand-alone elements.

a. Examples of stand-alone PII include: Social Security Numbers (SSN), driver's license or state identification number; Alien Registration Numbers; financial account number; and biometric identifiers such as fingerprint, voiceprint, or iris scan.

b. Additional examples of SPII include any groupings of information that contain an individual's name or other unique identifier plus one or more of the following elements:

  1. Truncated SSN (such as last four digits)
  2. Date of birth (month, day, and year)
  3. Citizenship or immigration status
  4. Ethnic or religious affiliation
  5. Sexual orientation
  6. Criminal history
  7. Medical information
  8. System authentication information such as mother's maiden name, account passwords, or personal identification numbers

c. Other PII may be "sensitive" depending on its context, such in as a list of employees and their performance rating(s) or an unlisted home address or phone number.  In contrast, a business card or public telephone directory of agency employees contains PII, but is not sensitive.  


Category Marking: CUI
Marking, Protection, and Dissemination​: This information must be (1) Marked as CUI using the CUI Control Marking (i.e., CUI) in accordance with marking guidance found on the CUI Registry; (2) Protected in accordance with 32 CFR Part 2002, “Controlled Unclassified Information”; and (3) Disseminated in accordance with any limited dissemination control markings applied to the information.  The CUI Registry lists all limited dissemination control markings that can be applied to CUI. 

Notes for Safeguarding, Dissemination and Sanction Authorities:

  • Whether CUI is Basic or Specified is determined by the applicable Safeguarding and/or Dissemination Authority for that CUI.
  • Each "Safeguarding and/or Dissemination Authority" citation links to the statute, regulation or government-wide policy authorizing the control of that information as CUI.
  • Each "Sanctions" authority links to the statute, regulation or government-wide policy that includes penalties for CUI misuse of CUI for the associated "Safeguarding and/or Dissemination Authority" on the same line.
Safeguarding and/or Dissemination Authority Basic or
Provisional Approval 2018-09-07 Basic  



Authority links are updated based on regular re-publication of the United States Code and Code of Federal Regulations, and the CUI Registry maintenance schedule.