The spotlight seems to be off the iPad data breach story for now, which might suggest that that unsettling occurrence will join so many other sundry disasters in the endless log of yesterday's corporate crises. Actually, there are good reasons to expect that the event will generate more coverage, if not further front-page headlines, in the months ahead. Moreover, it should generate such additional attention, because there is much to be learned from the story. As you'll recall, AT&T ( T) has since mid-June taken pains to appease customers in the aftermath of a breach involving Apple's ( AAPL) watershed iPad 3G, which AT&T networks. The breach occurred when hackers gained access to AT&T SIM card serial numbers for the iPad 3G along with corresponding e-mails. The breach affected not just consumers but also U.S. senators as well as Department of Justice, FCC, and NASA officials. A central player is Goatse Security, a "security firm" actually run by the hackers responsible for compromising the iPad. Goatse sent a list of exposed email addresses -- not to the government or to AT&T -- but to a blogger site called Gawker.com. Goatse claims its purpose was to warn the public. Despite the national security implications, it's still not certain if, as of this writing, anyone really knows the extent of the damage. AT&T has assured the public that no further data was compromised and the original problem completely solved. Meanwhile, the FBI is investigating and observers expect the Bureau to take punitive action against Goatse, which is one good reason to anticipate that this story is by no means over. The event certainly merits ongoing reflection. Beyond the specifics, there are dynamics at play with far reaching implications on at least three levels -- as a crisis management playbook; as an example of how risk management now operates in the technology industry; and, perhaps most important, as a bellwether of social responsibility in the digital age.