According to the annual survey released Monday by the Washington State Attorney General, some 500,000 Washington residents had their identity compromised to some degree due to data breaches and hacking over the last year.

In conjunction with National Cyber Security Awareness Month (October), the report tracks security breaches and hacking incidents reported to the AG's office between July of 2015 and July of this year.

New, more strict reporting guidelines were passed into law in 2015 by the legislature, for companies that conduct business in our state. Regardless if they are based elsewhere, the new law requires any and all companies to report data breaches within a few weeks, not months like in the past. In some cases, companies waited nearly a year before informing consumers in our state that they had experienced a data breach.

The report shows that while most of the 39 reported breaches were relatively small, T-Mobile reported intruders had obtained potentially sensitive information on some 330,000 consumers who live in our state.

AG Bob Ferguson says consumers were able to take precautions and react much more quickly in the past, due to the new reporting requirements.

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