Browse Definitions :
Definition

digital tattoo

Contributor(s): Matthew Haughn

With more than one meaning, a digital tattoo is to a temporary tattoo that is outfitted with electronics, such as sensors or a near field communication (NFC) chip. A digital tattoo also refers to the permanent nature of a person’s actions and communications online, also known as a digital footprint.

The first physical digital tattoos were NFC-equipped to enable communication of data like information from the wearer’s website or Facebook or Snapchat profiles. To access the user-selected information, a third party could just tap the tattoo on their smartphone.

The tattoos can also tie into tap-to-pay methods, providing the ability to identify oneself and pay for goods and services at NFC-enabled points of sale without carrying any device or a wallet. While there have been concerns about privacy, developers have assuaged doubts by ensuring that the chips can encrypt data.

The basic design for a digital tattoo is a graphic image that covers a small, flexible NFC chip on the wearer’s skin, sometimes small enough to fit on a fingertip. The NFC chip has a small amount of memory that can be accessed through a smartphone app and used for various purposes. Often the tattoo itself is metallic with an antenna. The tattoos can last up to a week and may cost little more than a standard temporary tattoo, chip included.

Microsoft partnered with MIT on a digital tattoo project that has a variety of paths. The devices can last a day on a charge and offer a number of types of antennas for different uses and communication ranges. The Microsoft design also offers options like thermally changing colors, which could be used to indicate the user’s body temperature. More complex digital tattoo designs can be used as touchscreens, among other possibilities.

A digital tattoo can also refer to the record of someone’s actions and communications online and its permanence, like a physical tattoo. More commonly known as a digital footprint, the body of data that exists as a result of online actions and communications can in some way be traced back to an individual. Once the data is made public, especially on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, it is relatively impossible to control. Digital footprint management (DFM) focuses on cautioning about online activities to curb the amount of data that can be gathered from online use. 

An example of spreading digital tattoo awareness is the University of British Columbia’s project called Digital Tattoo, which is an online privacy and security initiative designed to improve student awareness about online risks.

This was last updated in March 2018

Continue Reading About digital tattoo

Start the conversation

Send me notifications when other members comment.

Please create a username to comment.

-ADS BY GOOGLE

File Extensions and File Formats

SearchCompliance

  • smart contract

    A smart contract, also known as a cryptocontract, is a computer program that directly controls the transfer of digital currencies...

  • risk map (risk heat map)

    A risk map, also known as a risk heat map, is a data visualization tool for communicating specific risks an organization faces. A...

  • internal audit (IA)

    An internal audit (IA) is an organizational initiative to monitor and analyze its own business operations in order to determine ...

SearchSecurity

SearchHealthIT

  • Health IT (health information technology)

    Health IT (health information technology) is the area of IT involving the design, development, creation, use and maintenance of ...

  • fee-for-service (FFS)

    Fee-for-service (FFS) is a payment model in which doctors, hospitals, and medical practices charge separately for each service ...

  • biomedical informatics

    Biomedical informatics is the branch of health informatics that uses data to help clinicians, researchers and scientists improve ...

SearchDisasterRecovery

  • risk mitigation

    Risk mitigation is a strategy to prepare for and lessen the effects of threats faced by a data center.

  • ransomware recovery

    Ransomware recovery is the process of resuming options following a cyberattack that demands payment in exchange for unlocking ...

  • natural disaster recovery

    Natural disaster recovery is the process of recovering data and resuming business operations following a natural disaster.

SearchStorage

  • RAID 5

    RAID 5 is a redundant array of independent disks configuration that uses disk striping with parity.

  • non-volatile storage (NVS)

    Non-volatile storage (NVS) is a broad collection of technologies and devices that do not require a continuous power supply to ...

  • petabyte

    A petabyte is a measure of memory or data storage capacity that is equal to 2 to the 50th power of bytes.

Close