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.
Eighteen months after a European court ruling, the search giant has received 348,000 requests to delete personal information. More than 1.2 million sites have been evaluated for removal.
It's been 100 years since Albert Einstein completed his theories of relativity. They were radical. They reshaped the way physicists view space, time, gravity, even the universe. But try explaining them to a child.
Money will be a big topic at the upcoming climate summit talks in Paris. Countries are negotiating who will pay for climate safety measures, how much money will be on the table, how to raise it - and how to spend it.
While small Pacific islands are in danger of vanishing due to rising sea levels, their younger inhabitants are skeptical that the climate summit in Paris will change that, a DW reporter discovered at a Bangkok forum.