There are a lot of ongoing problems in data security. This is one of them.
TL;DR: Blame the credit card industry.
The root cause is the mistaken concept that by giving your identity you are also granting your authorization. This was the horrible basis that credit cards were built upon, and is why the situation is as bad as it is today.
Your identity (credit card number, SSN, etc.) shouldn't ever need to be kept secret, because who you are is not a secret. You can't stay secret from an online merchant, because they have to ship you the stuff you buy. You can't stay secret from any merchant with a credit card because the merchant wants your bank to give them money. You can never manage to stay secret from the tax man. And you don't want to stay secret from your health provider, who needs your medical history to treat your problems.
When credit was invented, this was not a big problem. People knew each other, and both sides trusted each other in the transaction. But the system was so incredibly easy to abuse that fraud snowballed out of control.
Credit card transactions are extremely profitable. Desperate to keep people from being afraid to use their insecure credit cards, the Payment Card Industry (PCI) successfully shifted the blame to the merchants, saying "they're not keeping your credit card numbers safe", while handwaving away the fact that the entire system was built on a flawed premise of trust. (I allocate all blame to the credit card industry for perpetuating this security mess in order to preserve their profits.)
The solution is to separate your identity from your authorization. People don't have to be afraid of leaking their identity if the identity is worthless without authorization.
But how do you grant authorization when there's the possibility of an untrusted middleman? There's a bad way and a good way. The bad way is the password. By proving you know a secret, you can authorize the use of your identity. But plain passwords are as problematic as plain credit card numbers are today. If you tell your secret to the merchant who then passes it along to the bank, a man-in-the-middle anywhere along that chain can copy your secret and forge your authorization.
The only good way to securely give your authorization is to use challenge-response. This solves the entire problem, except we humans can't do effective challenge-response in our heads. This has been brilliantly overcome by the introduction of chip cards and the EMV protocols. The card does all the hard work of accepting the challenge and generating the response. For added security, the card can be designed to not generate a valid response without a PIN.
In this rose-tinted world, not only do you no longer need to protect the credit card numbers, you don't need to protect the response because it's unique to the challenge.
We may get there, someday. But right now, EMV is still not perfect. Because it can use only the little gold contacts to communicate (or sometimes RF), and phones and computers don't have the universal ability to talk to chip cards, there's no good way to use EMV to authorize a transaction on a web browser or over a phone. (There are pocket chip readers in use by some European banks, but these are awkward devices that require the user to perform the extra steps of typing in a bunch of digits as the challenge and entering their response.) So for now, web transactions are still insecurely relying on static CVV numbers, which are the equivalent of passwords.
And that doesn't solve any non-credit problems, either. Access to medical records, web sites, and everything else that needs authorization has the same problem, and needs a good solution. There are many halfway solutions like OAuth, but as Yahoo!'s breach demonstrated, they're not good solutions. And whatever solutions come out, they will be fought in standards committees by companies all clamoring for a profitable piece of the pie; competing governments who want to control and gain backdoor access; technical firms who want to build the infrastructure, etc. It's a foregone conclusion that the compromises will not be both secure and interoperable.
Once those problems are sorted out, and similar solutions are applied to health care, web site identity, etc., we may see the end of the masked password box. I give it at least 50 years before we get there, if ever.