New App Generates Sex Contracts

LegalFling seeks to clarify sexual consent through smart contracts

A new app is trying to take the notion of “getting it in writing” to a new realm: the bedroom.

LegalFling is a project from LegalThings, a Dutch company that specializes in live contracts and legal documents. In response to the #MeToo movement and a change in law in Sweden, the company created an app that encourages users to “get explicit about sexual consent” through smart contracts generated using blockchain technology. It hasn’t yet been approved by the Google Play or Apple App stores. And despite its goal of clearing muddy waters, lawyers say the smart contract approach to romantic encounters is impotent or actually more risky for its users.

According to the website, the duration of a contract can range from a few hours to an indefinite period, and preferences for certain activities such as condom usage and explicit language, can be set in the app as well. The website says that in the event of a violation, a breach of contract claim can be brought “with a single tap, triggering cease and desist letters and enforcing penalty payments.”

Eytan Nielsen partner Iris Eytan has acted as defense in many cases concerning claims of sexual assault. She feels there are too many situations in which a contract through the app could be called into question.

To read this story and other complete articles featured in the January 29, 2017 print edition of Law Week Colorado, copies are available for purchase online.