City of Chicago Open311 API Terms of Service

All use of the Open311 API is subject to the following terms:

  1. These Terms of Service (“TOS”) govern your participation in the Open311 API (“API”) and your use of API services provided by the City of Chicago (“City”) and data transmitted over such API services (collectively “API Services and Data”). You understand and agree that these TOS constitute a legally binding agreement between you and the City. You represent that you have full authority to accept these TOS. If you are accepting on behalf of your employer or another entity, you represent that you have full authority to bind your employer or such other entity to the TOS.

  2. In these TOS, “You” or “Your” refers to any individual or entity that uses or seeks to use the API Services and Data.

Application Process

  1. In order to write data to Chicago's Open311 system, you must complete a form to request an API key. Once You have submitted Your completed form, You will automatically receive an API key for the Test API system, which You may then use to develop Your application. An API key is not required to read data only: if You intend to read data only you do not need to request an API key. Nevertheless, any and all use of the API is subject to these TOS even if an API key is not required.

  2. Once You successfully integrate Your application with Chicago’s Test Open311 System, You may request an API key for the Production system. The City, in its sole and complete discretion, may give You an API key and access to the API. Upon submitting Your request You will receive an un-activated Production Open311 API Key. The City will review Your application to ensure compliance with the API Terms of Service. Once this has been verified, You will be notified that Your Production Key has been activated and is ready for use.

  3. Access to the Production Environment is subject to Your compliance with these terms as well as development of a privacy policy, including clear and conspicuous disclosure to users of any practice whereby You or a third party collect or use personally identifiable information from users. In addition, You agree to comply with all applicable laws relating to the collection of personally identifiable information from visitors/users. Any violation of these requirements or failure to comply with Your privacy policy constitutes a violation of these TOS and is grounds for immediate termination of all access privileges to the API services and Data.

  4. Access privileges to API services and Data are granted at the sole discretion of the City and may be restricted or terminated at any time.

City Policies and Requirements Regarding Use of API Services

  1. Usage is currently not limited, but will be monitored. Excessive usage, in the sole and complete discretion of the City, may be grounds for imposing usage caps or for termination of service. If You plan to make heavy use of the API service, please notify the City prior to such use. The City, in its complete discretion, may allow You to avoid limitations on usage.

  2. The City reserves the right to track and publish aggregate statistics on usage per application.

  3. When using the API, attribution of the City as the API source is appreciated but not required. However, You and Your application must not express or imply any affiliation or relationship with or sponsorship or endorsement by the City.

Further, You may not use the City seal in your application in any way that may suggest that City is affiliated with, endorses, or sponsors you or your application.

  1. Any practice whereby information that is intended to be transmitted directly between the user and the City is manipulated, edited, redacted or otherwise processed by the application, such that the content or meaning of the information is altered, must be disclosed to the user in a clear and conspicuous manner.

  2. Sharing, distribution, or any other intentional or unintentional disclosure of API keys to unauthorized users is not permitted and constitutes a violation of these TOS.

You agree to comply with, and use all means available to assist the City in complying with, state and local public records laws.

  1. Any activity that exceeds Your authorized access privileges to City API services and Data is strictly prohibited.

Consequences Of Violating The Terms Of Service

  1. You have a continuing obligation to comply with the TOS. Any violation of the TOS may, in the City’s sole and complete discretion, result in the immediate invalidation of Your API key and termination of all access privileges to API services and Data.

Exclusion Of Warranties

  1. The City does not guarantee the accuracy, completeness or availability of the API services and Data. You understand and agree that Your use of the API services and Data is at Your sole risk and that the API services and Data are made available on an “as is” and “as available” basis without any warranties of any kind, whether express or implied, including without limitation implied warranties of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, and non-infringement. Should there be an error, inaccuracy or other defect in the API services and Data, You assume the full cost of correcting any such error, inaccuracy or defect. No advice or information, whether oral or written, obtained by You from the City or through or from the API services or data will create any warranty not expressly stated in these TOS.

Limitation Of Liability And Indemnity

  1. In no event shall the City be liable for any direct, indirect, incidental, consequential or special damages (including without limitation, loss of use, time or data, inconvenience, commercial loss, lost profits or savings, or the cost of computer equipment and software), to the full extent that such may be disclaimed by law, or for any claim against You by any third party. In no event shall the City be liable for any claim, including claims by third parties, for loss or damages arising from Your use of the API services and Data.

  2. To the fullest extent permitted by law, You shall indemnify and save harmless the City, from any claim, loss, damage, injury or liability of any kind, nature and description (including, without limitation, incidental and consequential damages, court costs, attorney’s fees and costs of investigation), that arise directly or indirectly, in whole or in part, from Your use of the API services and Data. In addition to Your obligation to indemnify the City, You specifically acknowledge and agree that You have an immediate and independent obligation to defend the City from any claim which actually or potentially falls within this indemnification provision, even if the allegations are or may be groundless, false or fraudulent, which obligation arises at the time such claim is tendered to You by the City and continues at all times thereafter.

General Provisions

  1. The City retains the right to modify these TOS at any time by posting such modifications on this page. Any modification is effective upon posting, unless otherwise indicated. The City will attempt to provide reasonable advance notice of any such changes to developers who have been granted access to API Services and Data. Notice will be provided to the current email address provided in the API Key Request Form by the developers. For this reason, developers are required to provide current contact information to the City and to update any information that changes.

  2. These TOS will be governed in accordance with the laws of the State of Illinois, without regard to choice of law principles. You hereby irrevocably submit to the original jurisdiction of those State or Federal courts located within the County of Cook, State of Illinois, with regard to any controversy arising out of, relating to, or in any way concerning the these TOS or API and irrevocably agree to be bound by any final judgment rendered thereby from which no appeal has been taken or is available. You irrevocably waive any objection (including without limitation any objection of the laying of venue or based on the grounds of forum non conveniens) which it may now or hereafter have to the bringing of any action or proceeding with respect to these TOS or API in the jurisdiction set forth above.

  3. No modification to the terms and obligations of these TOS, other than modification as described at paragraph 18 above, nor any waiver of any rights, shall be effective except by an instrument in writing signed by You and the City, and the waiver of any breach or default shall not constitute a waiver of any other right hereunder or any subsequent breach or default.

  4. These TOS contain the entire agreement and understanding between You and the City with respect to the subject matter hereof and completely replace and supersede all prior agreements, understanding and representations. In no event will any additional terms or conditions be effective unless expressly accepted by the City in writing.

  5. If any provision of these TOS is held to be invalid by a court of competent jurisdiction, then the remaining provisions will nevertheless remain in full force and effect.

  6. You agree that, if the City does not exercise or enforce any legal right or remedy contained in these TOS (or that the City has the benefit of under any applicable law), this will not be taken to be a formal waiver of the City’s rights and that those rights or remedies will still be available to the City. Any waiver of any provision of these TOS will be effective only if the City expressly states in a signed writing that it is waiving a specified provision.