According to a new report released by the Washington State Attorney General's office, 3.4 million state residents were potentially affected by data breaches so far this year, an increase of 26% from 2017.

The study looked at data between July of last year and this year, and found the number of people who's identity was potentially compromised rose by some 700,000.

AG Bob Ferguson says this includes breaches of all kinds, whether local, state, regional or national.  Those numbers are shockingly 700% higher than two years ago, dating back to early 2016.

New legislation has been passed requiring companies who do business in WA state or have clients or customers from our state (even if they're thousands of miles away) to inform citizens of any potential data breaches within 30 days of a suspected breach.

Breaches are only reported if they potentially affect 500 people or more. There were 51 such notifications for fiscal year 2018.

Most of the newer legislation was spurred by the 2017 Uber data breach, that potentially affected personal information of some 13,000 drivers in our state. Additional laws were passed on top of others passed in 2015. The Uber breach resulted in a $170 million dollar lawsuit against the driver company, because they waited 372 days before revealing their computer systems were hacked and data stolen or potentially stolen.