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.
Ahead of an EU interior minister meeting in Riga, German MEP Jan Philipp Albrecht tells DW plans for blanket retention of passenger data are flawed and says we should invest less in computers and more in people.
With NASA's New Horizons spacecraft getting closer to Pluto to take ever clearer images of the icy dwarf planet, planetary expert Professor Andrew Coates tells DW what we can learn.
While Miami police investigates the use of photos of black teens for target practice, members of the clergy have taken to social media to voice their outcry using the hashtag #UseMeInstead. DW takes a look at the trend.
Love the earthy, moist smell of a forest after rainfall? Here’s how that smell gets into the air.
The EU has imposed sanctions on imports from Sri Lanka's fisheries after the country failed to curb illegal fishing. Tony Long of The Pew Charitable Trusts tells DW how new technology can help ports tackle the problem.