There was a story that got a lot of talk in the news recently about tattoos and privacy. Actually what happened was that a man who required a gall bladder operation had his privacy invaded by a physician at the Mayo Clinic. Although having a very good reputation as a medical facility, a practicing surgeon had a severe lapse in personal judgment.
While under anesthesia, the patient had a photograph taken of a tattoo he had on a very private part of his body. Said piece of ink was done in a moment of youthful bravado, and involved a bet for money. The man was actually a bit embarrassed to have it, he claimed in interviews which appeared after the story broke on national news and pop culture sites. The tattoo in question reads "Hot Rod." And I'm sure you can guess where it's located from that particular clue.
Like a teenager on the internet, while placing a catheter into the patient, the doctor saw the tattoo and decided to snap a photograph with his cellphone camera. He later showed this image to various members of the hospital staff. I'm not sure what that surgeon was thinking, but no matter how "novel" or amusing a tattoo might seem, it doesn't justify the actions taken by the observers. The patient then was notified what had happened by the doctor, who was worried that the story would get "get out" and become a topic of public discussion, which it has. Currently the patient is exploring his legal options.
Sadly this is a good example of how some people's curiosity and reactions can override any sense of manners or deportment. I've had several instances myself in my tattooed lifetime where a total stranger came up to me in public and either questioned me without any warning or preamble about my body art. There have also been several instances where someone touched my arms or back, without warning or permission, because they were curious about my tattoos.
My advice to those curious about body art are to suggest they always think carefully first before approaching someone about body art. Asking about or photographing a tattoo could easily be perceived of as extremely rude or invasive. Introducing one's self and asking if questions can be asked is how any conversation should begin, and photographs should never be taken without the consent of the subject.