The mandate is part of a larger campaign by Mayor Gavin Newsom to make city data publicly available in hopes of fostering government transparency and, in the words of the ordinance, "[mobilize] San Francisco's high-tech workforce...to create useful civic tools at no cost to the City." The measure does not apply to data whose release would violate existing laws, such as privacy standards.
E.B. Boyd believes the move will inspire other cities to adapt similar policies:
"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."