The private, personal character that makes online social networks appealing to people looking to stay in touch with friends and family is also leading data protection advocates from around the globe to criticize the sites.
Armed with some of Europe's most wide-reaching data protection laws, critics in Germany have accused social networks and other online sites of collecting and making commercial use of personal information without members' explicit permission - as required by law.
Google and Facebook are both under investigation in Germany, as well as other countries, for their privacy and data retention practices.
Deutsche Welle looks at the actions being taken against a number of Web sites and how Germans are using the Web and social media.
The Solar Impulse 2 plane has taken off from an airport in Myanmar bound for China in the most challenging stage so far of a planned flight around the world. The project is aimed at promoting the use of green energy.
A Russian Soyuz spacecraft carrying a US astronaut and two Russian cosmonauts has successfully docked with the International Space Station (ISS). The scientists' stay on board the ISS will be the longest ever.
The stars, the sun, lamps and fireflies all shine brightly. But few realize mushrooms do too and now researchers have discovered why.
As wolves return to Germany and Europe, the top predators continue to get a bad rap. Although efforts are underway to improve their image, these come up against deeply ingrained prejudices.