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Byte by byte: How the internet devours your personal data

May 31, 2017

NIU Stem Cafe logoEvery time we use the internet, we leave a trail of information behind. At the next STEM Café, NIU marketing instructor Alex Eddy will discuss where we’re leaving our digital footprints, who’s using our personal data and what they’re doing with it.

The talk will take place Wednesday, June 14, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Giovanni’s Restaurant, 610 N. Bell School Road in Rockford.

Our social media posts and online purchases, the routes we map and websites we view – all of these generate data. Companies buy this data and use it in a variety of ways – some that may be convenient and others that might seem downright disturbing.

“For almost everything we do, there is now a company trying to figure out how to capture data about it,” says Eddy, who also works in marketing for a major bank. “But where does this data go? Who looks at it? Why?”

This talk is an encore presentation of a STEM Café that Eddy and his colleague Brian Gillet presented in DeKalb in 2015. “This topic is increasingly relevant as we live more and more of our lives online,” says P-20 Outreach Associate Judith Dymond. “Back by popular demand, Alex Eddy was invited to give an encore presentation in Rockford. Eddy will help us understand the growing trail of digital information we leave behind.”

Attendees will learn about how data is collected, how it can be used in both positive and negative ways, and how they can avoid collection they do not want. Eddy will discuss the fact that not all data collection is a bad thing.

Eddy is an NIU College of Business alumnus who studied marketing as an undergrad and information systems as a graduate student. Eddy teaches interactive marketing technology and database marketing.

This event is part of STEM Outreach’s series of monthly STEM Cafés, all of which are free and open to the public. Food and drinks will be available for purchase from Giovanni’s.

Reservations are strongly encouraged. Register online or call toll free 1-877-926-8300.

For more information, call 815-753-4751 or email [email protected].