A new mobile application called XPASS, developed in the Czech Republic aims to reduce the number of sexual crimes and false accusations. Through it, users can express their consent to sexual intercourse. However, sexologist Petr Weiss and sociologist Blanka Nyklová fear that the app provides room for numerous risks.
In the XPASS app, users can choose what sexual practices they consent to and what they do not want to do. Before sex, one creates a consent form where they agree on their shared preferences and how long the permission will last. The other scans a QR code in their app, and both have to confirm the consent with the pin they set when registering.
However, at the moment, there is no way to cancel the consent in the app during the contact. “Every app can be used or misused. I can imagine that it will be used in some extreme cases for blackmail. Even if there are a thousand apps, one of the parties involved can always say that the other has somehow crossed the agreement. There’s no witness to testify that that’s not true,” Weiss said.
At the same time, he said, once consent has been granted, the other party may start behaving violently and overstepping the boundaries set in advance.
Sociologist Blanka Nyklová of the Institute of Sociology of the Czech Academy of Sciences agrees. According to her, consent given on the app can act as a brake on reporting rapes that occur after permission has been granted.
“The perpetrator can directly use it against filing a report because no one will believe the victim because she signed here. It is also one of the reasons given abroad against a similar consent procedure,” stated Nyklová.
At the same time, the app can impact partner relationships. “For some people, especially young people, it can provide a sense of security in a partner and sexual relationship. For others, it will be more of a nuisance. It can serve as evidence of distrust because they don’t trust him to be considerate,” Weiss said.