30 March 2018 0 Comments Posted By : Administrator

New phone app provides legal consent to sex with a simple swipe

A Dutch company, LegalThings, has developed an app to curb the rise in sexual misconduct over the past few months.

The app, LegalFling, allows sexual partners to agree to a certain legally-binding contract prior to hooking up. The contract includes things like both partners’ sexual health status and the use of condoms or not—all it takes for consent is just a swipe.

The app utilizes the same encrypted blockchain technology that manages Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies to log and record the contract.

“Asking someone to sign a contract before having sex is a little uncomfortable. With LegalFling, a simple swipe to consent is enough to legally justify the fling,” said Rick Schmitz, CEO of LegalThings and creator of LegalFling.

Creators of the app said the idea behind its development was the #metoo anti-harassment campaign. The campaign promoted countries like Sweden to make decisions to alter rape laws and make consent more mandatory before intercourse. LegalThings remarked that “we change the #metoo's into #iFling's.”

Some toggle switches within the app include things like filming a sex tape, or engaging in BDSM—also, ensuring both individuals are STD-free. Though, phone sex offers a  rather safe and pleasurable option. Once both parties agree to these extra conditions, a penalty clause is inserted automatically into the resulting contact. It can then serve as evidence in court, should either party decide to breach it—as is usually the case in revenge porn.

“This probably does not apply to 99.9% of the users. But please bear in mind this can happen to anyone. And you are totally helpless when it happens. The (social) life of the subject person is never the same afterwards. This app provides a helping hand for these situations,” said Schmitz.

There's still controversy surrounding the app's claims on consent and whether it is legally binding. Though the company's website states that the contract generated is legally binding, the app also says that consent can be withdrawn at anytime with a single click.

“The law here is simple – no means no – regardless of an app or any other agreement made,” said Rachel Adamson, a criminal lawyer at Slater and Gordon.

“Anyone has the right to change their mind and withdraw consent at any time and if the other person ignores that and carries on, they are guilty of a criminal offence.”

Adamson also noted that the app's claim of being admissible in court is absurd.

“It is horrendous to think that this app could be relied on as a defence in cases of sexual assault, but there is absolutely no way it would stand up in court or that a jury would reach their verdict on that evidence alone,” she said.

“They would also have to assess how that consent had been obtained and whether it was from the correct person, which would be extremely difficult.”

The app would be available for download on iOS and Android devices after it has been approved on the Apple App Store and Google Play Store.

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