Investors, entrepreneurs, media professionals, owners and community builders will gather from 5 to 8 p.m. April 20 at the Cabrillo Pavilion Arts Center to discuss the implications of online data tracking.

The event, titled “Online Personal Data Tracking: You Can Run, But You Can’t Hide (And Why Would You Want to Anyway?)” will be hosted by the MIT Enterprise Forum of the Central Coast.

Massive amounts of data regarding one’s preferences, habits, interests, concerns, friends and behavior are being collected as Internet use continues to grow. Advertisers use the information to better target consumers, which could leave people more susceptible to abuse, according to the MIT Enterprise Forum.

The program will explore trends in online data collection, its use and how that impacts consumers. While more readily available personal information can serve benefits to consumers and advertisers, it heightens the risk of misuse and abuse. The event will discuss the efficacy of self-regulation and potential federal government intervention, which is collecting the information and how its being used and the potential of “opt-out” requirements on consumers, advertisers and content providers.

Panelists will include Tanya Tan, vice president of privacy and legislative affairs for ValueClick Inc.; Dave Gross, CEO of Connexity; Frank Gerstenberger, vice president of product management for BlueCava; and Brian Fox, founder of Virtual World Computing. Rick Tico, vice president of Bank of the West, will serve as the moderator.

Sponsors include Noozhawk, CIO Solutions, Express Employment Professionals,Merrill Lynch Wealth Management, Nasif, Hicks, Harris & Co., Pacific Coast Business Times, Radius Group Commercial Real Estate, Riviera Insurance Services LLC, Socal IP Law Group LLC, Stradling Yocca Carlson & Rauth and Visus. Supporting sponsors for the event are Alma Rose Winery & Vineyards, DuPont, EVC and Mission Ventures.

The Cabrillo Pavilion Arts Center is located at 1118 E. Cabrillo Blvd. Admission is $15 for students, $30 for online registration, and $40 at the door.

Noozhawk staff writer Alex Kacik can be reached at Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Become a fan of Noozhawk on Facebook.