A portable data-storage device containing the sensitive personal information for all current employees of North Carolina-based FairPoint Communications has gone missing.

How many victims? 4,400 -- all current FairPoint employees and some former employees were affected.

What type of personal information? Names, home addresses, phone numbers, Social Security numbers, birth dates and certain compensation and employment information.

What happened? FairPoint, a vendor of voice, data, Internet, television and broadband services, said the breach was caused by an employee who did not follow security precautions.

Details: The device didn’t contain any financial or customer account information, the company said.

What was the response? FairPoint has alerted those impacted by the incident, as well as Attorneys General in affected states. FairPoint is offering a complimentary one-year membership to an identity-theft protection service to its workers.

Source: http://charlotte.bizjournals.com/charlotte/, Charlotte Business Journal, “FairPoint probes on security breach,” April 21, 2009.