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.
Italian doctor Sergio Canavero plans to put one man's head onto another man's body. He already has the "head " - and plans to put it on a body by 2017.
Astronomers at the Very Large Telescope have taken the best 3D-pictures of the early universe ever. They discovered objects emitting so little light that the Hubble Telescope could not find them.
Seeds are sometimes so small they are hard to see with the naked eye, yet as biologist and author Thor Hanson told Global Ideas, they have played a pivotal role in shaping the face of our modern lives.
Oceans drive the climate, provide us with food and oxygen and are home to countless life forms. Discover fascinating creatures, endangered ecosystems and meet the people trying to save them.