Just as was intended by the way the Congress-critturs wrote the Privacy Act - privacy for them, not for us (except from family and small business, of course). But this is a good example of how intolerable our system has become, and a brief refresher/primer for those not familiar with with what the CFR and other things are, and how the system works (or fails to). The mess is complicated. I'll quote freely from the Government Printing Office, but won't worry about showing everything in quotes.
When Congress passes a bill and the President fails to veto it, the journey into our pocketbooks and lives has just begun. There are two type of laws: public and private, but we shall look just at "public laws." What is the difference between a public and private law?
A public law is known by its bill number (such as SB (Senate Bill) or HR (House Resolution), its popular name, (Such as the Taft-Hartley Act or PATRIOT Act), its long title (which can be really long), and its number. The subject of titles is worth pursuing but we shall concentrate on the basics: the number. Public Laws are numbered by the number of the Congress which passes them. Most, but not all, Public Laws are "general and permanent," which brings us to the next type. Public Laws are sometimes divided into "Titles", which often are entire separate (and not necessarily related) laws: for example, "SARA Title III" is also known as the "Emergency Planning and Community Right to Know Act" or EPCRA, but was passed as part of the "Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act."
At the end of each session of Congress, the laws passed are compiled into bound volumes called the Statutes at Large, and they are known as "session laws." The Statutes at Large present a chronological arrangement of the laws in the exact order that they have been enacted. Because the text of laws published as public laws and Statutes at Large are the same, this step isn't usually known, but is still important, since laws are transcribed and "annotated" (that is, previous laws and "codified laws" [see next] which are amended) are listed. Every six years, public laws are incorporated into the United States Code. The U.S. Code is arranged by subject matter, and it shows the present status of laws that have been amended on one or more occasions.
States Code (USC) is the codification by subject matter of the general
and permanent laws of the United States. It is divided by broad subjects
into 50 titles (another meaning from the one discussed above) and published
by the Office of the Law Revision Counsel of the U.S. House of Representatives.
Since 1926, the United States Code has been published every six years.
In between editions, annual cumulative supplements are published in order
to present the most current information. US Code laws are cited by a standard
system, such as 42 USC 4001(which deals with Congressional Findings related
to National Flood Insurance); Title 42 has to do with Public Health and
Welfare. Title 22 laws deal with "Foreign Relations and Intercourse."
Codes are broken into "Chapters" and "Subchapters"
but are numbered by Sections. Section 4001 is in Chapter 50, for example.