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.
Measles - a highly contagious disease - can cause permanent disability and death. But despite there being a vaccine, Germany, and other European countries, will fail to eradicate measles by 2015.
Kenyan blogger and activist Ory Okolloh, the face of Africa's flourishing open data movement, tells DW why she wants greater cooperation between techies, business, government and social actors.
Many of our ideas about the natural world and environmentalism can be traced back to two trailblazing 19th century explorers who continue to inspire scientists heading to the Amazon rainforest to identify new species.
Parts of the Amazon rainforest in Colombia are still virgin, unexplored territory - a dream for scientists and biologists on the look out for new species. Global Ideas accompanies a research team to the lush landscape.