San Francisco Passes First Open Data Law

Flag of the city of San Francisco, California

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Source: E.B. Boyd, Fast Company, November 9, 2010

One year ago, San Francisco mayor Gavin Newsom issued an executive order directing the city’s departments to make their data public. Yesterday, the city’s board of supervisors turned that order into law. As far as we could establish, this is the first time any city in the U.S. has implemented an open data law. But given that other jurisdictions often follow San Francisco’s lead in this space, it’s likely not the last. The law is brief. It simply says city’s departments and agencies “shall make reasonable efforts” to publish any data under their control — provided that doing so does not violate other laws, particularly those related to privacy. The Board of Supervisors passed the ordinance unanimously. …

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