A Dutch software company that specializes in smart contracts using blockchain technology is preparing to launch an app that uses blockchain to log explicit consent before sexual contact.
The company, LegalThings One, is introducing its app, called LegalFling, in anticipation of Sweden’s proposed legislation that would change rape laws to require the explicit consent of both partners before sexual contact.
LegalFling — which is not yet available for download — is effectively a proof of concept for Live Contracts, a LegalThings One product that recently won the Dutch Ministry of Justice and Security Blockathon. Live Contracts creates legally binding contracts represented in digital and interactive formats that are understandable by both humans and computers and that are stored in a verifiable and immutable way using blockchain technology.
Sweden’s proposed legislation seemed an apt case for testing this technology, since it begs the question, How do you prove consent?
With LegalFling, if you are, say, on a date and want to take it further, you open the app and send a request for consent. Your date either consents or not. Users can also configure the app to communicate their sexual preferences and boundaries. And if consent is given and pictures are taken, the app can be used to explicitly agree that none may be shared at anytime with anyone afterwards, attaching a penalty clause that can trigger cease-and-desist letters and penalty payments.
An agreement is a part of human interaction and something you continuously use. With LegalFling you don’t have the feeling that you are making a contract. Sending a LegalFling feels more like sending a Whatsapp message that indicates privileges, but in fact you are legally consenting to sexual activity.
The LegalThings One says the app will be free and made available for iOS and Android.