Your Online Tattoo

January 7th, 2014

Even if you don’t like tattoo’s, everyone has a permanent and personal digital portrait attached to their identity.

Today’s Post is by Michael Figueroa, Account Manager at SafeSourcing.

It’s become fairly common knowledge that everything we do online is permanently preserved and searchable by potential employers, angry exes, and on the fence customers. However, the extent to which your information can be used is becoming more and more invasive. Here are just a few examples:

1. Facebook has been under scrutiny for their facial recognition software for a while now: Any location someone takes a picture of you at, even if you’re just in the background, has the potential to tag you once uploaded.1

2. There are already companies experimenting with using facial recognition technology to use your face like an analog credit card number .2

3. Researcher Alessandro Acquisti discovered that through some off the shelf facial recognition and data mining software he could discover peoples identity and even social security numbers in some instances.3

4. With google image search or tinyeye any image can be reverse searched to find all websites that contain that image .4

5. Of course there has been a lot of buzz about what the NSA captures online, and that the CIA gathers from the big tech firms like google, yahoo, and facebook.

When your information is online, it’s best to think of it as a digital tattoo: It’s like a permanently identifying mark that you can be easily identified with a little digging. The same is true for your company, and not just its twitter feed or Facebook account.
Proprietary product information, logistics details, images, all can be indexed and retrieved even after it’s been taken down from your site. Some information you may want to keep available at all times, such as contact information, RFI/RFP templates, and core competencies. Information that well represents your company and allows potential customers a convenient means to beginning an account with you. Just be careful with the digital tattoo you give yourself, because there are new ways of using it that are being developed all the time.

We look forward to and appreciate your comments.


1 Jessica Guynn. “Privacy implications of facial recognition back in the spotlight …” 8 Dec. 2013 <,0,3372180.story>

2Betsy Isaacson. “Facial Recognition Systems Turn Your Face Into Your Credit Card …” 2013. 8 Dec. 2013 <>

3 “The future of facial recognition: 7 fascinating facts | TED Blog.” 2013. 8 Dec. 2013 <>

4 “TinEye Reverse Image Search.” 2005. 8 Dec. 2013 <>

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