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S. 500: SMARTWATCH Data Act

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About the bill

Is this bill a smart idea, or should you watch out?


Wearable devices, most prominently smartwatches and step counters, have soared in popularity over recent years. Their sales even rose during the COVID-19 pandemic, at the same time as spending on many other categories of consumer goods and services plunged.

The Apple Watch, by far the most popular such device, can record personal data including menstrual cycles, sleep patterns, and heart rate.

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, more commonly known as HIPAA, protects the privacy of all patient-doctor interactions under federal law. But technology, as it usually does, moves faster than the law. Since a smartwatch isn’t a doctor or physician, the health data stored with it is not protected under federal …

Sponsor and status

Bill Cassidy

Sponsor. Senior Senator for Louisiana. Republican.

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Last Updated: Mar 1, 2021
Length: 9 pages
Mar 1, 2021
117th Congress (2021–2023)

Introduced on Mar 1, 2021

This bill is in the first stage of the legislative process. It was introduced into Congress on March 1, 2021. It will typically be considered by committee next before it is possibly sent on to the House or Senate as a whole.

Other activity may have occurred on another bill with identical or similar provisions.


1 Cosponsor (1 Democrat)

3% chance of being enacted according to Skopos Labs (details)

Position statements

What legislators are saying

Congressman Horsford Secures Over $7.3 Million for Health Care, Safety, Jobs, and Community Well-Being Across Nevadas Fourth District
    — Rep. Steven Horsford [D-NV4] on Jul 29, 2021

Padillas First 100 Days: Key Moments
    — Sen. Alejandro “Alex” Padilla [D-CA] on Apr 29, 2021

Craig, Phillips Lead Minnesota Legislators in Urging Congress to Provide Direct Financial Support to Restaurants
    — Rep. Dean Phillips [D-MN3] on Feb 5, 2021

More statements at ProPublica Represent...


Mar 1, 2021

Bills and resolutions are referred to committees which debate the bill before possibly sending it on to the whole chamber.

If this bill has further action, the following steps may occur next:
Passed Committee

Passed Senate

Passed House

Signed by the President

S. 500 is a bill in the United States Congress.

A bill must be passed by both the House and Senate in identical form and then be signed by the President to become law.

Bills numbers restart every two years. That means there are other bills with the number S. 500. This is the one from the 117th Congress.

How to cite this information.

We recommend the following MLA-formatted citation when using the information you see here in academic work:

“S. 500 — 117th Congress: SMARTWATCH Data Act.” 2021. August 9, 2022 <>

Where is this information from?

GovTrack automatically collects legislative information from a variety of governmental and non-governmental sources. This page is sourced primarily from, the official portal of the United States Congress. is generally updated one day after events occur, and so legislative activity shown here may be one day behind. Data via the congress project.