Things you would know in case you read the terms and conditions before clicking the “Agree”-button
Xing is a Social Networking Service (SNS) for professionals. The organisation was founded in 2003, then called OpenBC (BC=Business Club) Just like the larger competitor LinkedIn, the organisation primarily catered for business people who wished to network with other professionals. In 2006, OpenBC became XING, trying to enhance the mainly German audience by focussing on the Chinese market.
Xing offers two different memberships: Free Membership Premium Membership (paid) ○ Special memberships (Sales and Recruiters) are also referred to as Premium.
Xing was established in Hamburg, Germany Therefor Xing adhers to German jurisdiction, founded on the German Criminal Law. It is important to note that German criminal proceedings are by nature not a contest between parties, but an objective, judge led inquiry into the material truth of the facts underlying the criminal charge (Bohlander 2008). This is an important fact considering that XING can argue not to take any responsibility for harm done by Xing members to one another.
XING offers business professionals an opportunity to intercommunicate, to seek contracting work to exchange expertise using XING as a platform. Although providing the platform, XING explicitly disclaims any participation in any contractual agreements.
Xing being the source of contact between two professionals could be reason to include XING in a contract, including accounts established with XING. For such cases XING explicitly disclaims liability if issues arise or if parties cannot contact each others over XING, due to any availability issue on the side of XING.
Section 2 of the Terms & Conditions is entirely committed to user authenticity and representation. Xing claims that it would be impossible to verify the authenticity of every registered user. To limit the variety of registration options, users shall not use pseudonyms or pen names. Xing assumes no liability for the authenticity of any user registered on XING. It is in the responsibility of Xing members to verify authenticity of their contacts within the XING Social Networking Service. Breaching any contractual obligations, specifically naming section 2 may lead to cancellation of the user agreement.
4.1.3 of the Terms & Conditions is the only space in which copyright is discussed in conjunction with trademarks, patents, utility patent or design patent laws. Also it refers to breeches among users only, reminding users to respect each others rights and ownership.
Also, section 4.1.3 of the Terms & Conditions refers to spam as an annoyance for users of XING and accordingly cites §7 of the German Unfair Competition Act. Further, users shall not promote any commercial practices considered unfair competition, including progressive customer acquisition practices (such as chain distribution systems, multilevel selling or pyramid sales). Breaching any contractual obligations, specifically naming section 4 may lead to cancellation of the user agreement.
XING offers a special space within the Website that discusses security measures taken in the interest of XING users. While registering on LinkedIn (US competitor), users are faced with a minimum level of privacy and required to un-tick settings they deem inappropriate. XING puts each account to maximum privacy by default and asks the user to make alterations (tick boxes) if they wish to enhance their visibility or to weaken the privacy settings.
Registering on XING, all communication is SSL-encrypted, as soon as the user logs in. This ensures that communication between the user’s computers and the XING server cannot be intercepted by third parties.(httpS://www.xing.com/)
References Bohlander, Michael (2008). The German Criminal Code. Hart Publishing. Oxford, UK. Retrieved from http://reader.eblib.com.au.dbgw.lis.curtin.edu.au/(S(1aohaqyxanvzrdqytzfzwuf5))/ Reader.aspx?p=408068&o=94&u=zKpqfSysqyQyaiRLYI%2fLsg%3d%3d&t=1350 537028&h=B839511D64DE113637D765074C2CA14F90950495&s=7026535&ut =240&pg=1&r=img&c=-1&pat=n Interactive Pioneers GmbH (2006). OpenBC to become XING. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7eGKsRjzmJk Soundtrack: Moby – Isolate. Used by permission of the artist. Retrieved from: http://www.mobygratis.com/film-music.html