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.
New research suggests lack of sleep has the greatest impact on overall well being, beyond smoking, drinking, or stress. But that's not all. Read this and you'll be having an early night.
A crew testing how a small group of humans might cope with a trip to Mars has started their 12-month mission. They will have to eat, communicate, and live exactly as they would on Mars - in a tiny dome in Hawaii.
It's official: Europe experienced a severe drought this summer. DW looks at the key points of a new analysis reflecting impacts of high temperatures and low rainfall on the environment and people.
As the east African island of Zanzibar experiences a growth in both population and number of tourists, its fish stocks are in serious decline. Fishing communities are being encouraged to diversify by cultivating sponges.