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12th Mar 2019

UCD Issues Apology After Students Were Asked To Help Develop ‘Consent App’

Kiara Keane

The head of UCD’s computer science department has apologised to students after they received an email asking for help with developing a consent app.

Screenshots from the email have since gone viral, which was reportedly sent by a fourth year medical student to the computer science department and forwarded on to third year, final year and postgraduate students.

The email explains how the app called ‘Consent’ would ‘allow for others to quickly verify their consent prior to sexual activities’ and stop ‘life destroying legal ramifications’.

One part of the email reads, ‘Due to consent not being recorded/denied/retracted the life-destroying ramifications that follow, as well as allowing for a clear opportunity if the other, for instance female, does not wish to continue with the act – and leaves out the lack of communication which is responsible for the destruction of thousands of lives each the year.’

There was serious backlash from students who have labelled the app idea “disturbing” and “very worrying”.

Head of the computer science department Pádraig Cunningham has since contacted students to apologise and said the email ‘was issued in error’.

The Independent reports that he wrote in an email to students, ‘On behalf of the School, I would like to sincerely apologise to the students who have received this email and for the offense it has caused.

‘The School of Computer Science will review and improve its approval process for all proposed emails to be sent to students on our lists to ensure that this can not happen again.’