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Schengen Information System, also referred to as “SIS” (SIS)

Шенгенская Информационная Система, также именуемая как «SIS» (ШИС)

The Schengen Information System, also referred to as “SIS” (SIS), is a government security database system used by some European countries to support and disseminate information related to border security and legal measures.

The data to be collected are certain classes of civilians and their properties.

This information is disseminated among the countries participating in the Schengen Agreement, initially they were France, Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg.

Since its inception, several other countries: Spain, Portugal, Italy, Austria, Greece, Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Iceland and Norway have joined the system.

Currently, the Schengen Information System is used by 15 countries. It should be noted that among them only Iceland and Norway are not members of the European Union.

As for the Republic of Ireland and the United Kingdom, which did not sign the Schengen Agreement, they participate in the Schengen cooperation under the Amsterdam Treaty, which introduced the conditions of Schengen admission to the European Union (it allows Great Britain and Ireland to participate in all or part of the Schengen organizations subject to unanimous approval by the Council ).

Ireland and the United Kingdom will primarily use the SIS for the purpose of applying legal measures.

They will not use the data of Article 96, because they are not going to implement the policy of free movement of civilians at the European level.

Database structure

The SIS information is stored in accordance with the laws of each country.

It contains over 15 million records containing the following information:

  • Surname.
  • Name.
  • Special signs.
  • The first letter of the second name.
  • Date of Birth.
  • Place of Birth.
  • Floor.
  • Citizenship.
  • Any pseudonyms used.
  • Is there any reason to believe that this person is armed.
  • Is there any reason to believe that this person can show violence (aggression).
  • Grounds for alarm.
  • The action to be taken (in relation to the individual).
  • Lost, stolen or misappropriated firearms.
  • Lost, stolen or misappropriated identification documents.
  • Lost, stolen or misappropriated clean identification documents.
  • Lost, stolen or misappropriated motor vehicles.
  • Lost, stolen or misappropriated banknotes.

The second technical version of the system (SIS II) is under development in order to include new types of data and to merge the new Member States of the Union.

The system could be open with a large number of institutions, for example civilian authorities, Europol and security services.

Personal data could be read on one personal device - an assistant (this is a futuristic point of view, but this type of execution remains under the responsibility and technical capabilities of each Member State) throughout Europe, the police and customs during identity checks.

Some would like to capitalize on these technical changes to turn this system into an investigation system, but a large number of Member States want this system to remain a police check system, leaving this role for the investigation to Europol.

Legal and technical aspects

Since March 25, 2001, fifteen States have accepted the Schengen agreement and removed police control at their internal borders.

Compensation measures form the main part of the agreement, but the principal part, the basis of Schengen, is the creation of a common information system in the subscribing States: the Schengen Information System (SIS).

As for police cooperation, this system is an innovator, both technically and legally.

First of all legally , the recognition of the legal validity of the records transmitted by the Schengen partners, with the obligation of each State to respect the action to be taken in accordance with the description, as well as the introduction of a device capable of guaranteeing respect for personal freedoms and the protection of personal data.

Technically , the complete creation of an information processing system that is constantly associated with extremely diverse, diverse national applications, and having the need to update national databases in real time. Sharing personal data with a delegation of authority, as regards the application of actions, can only be done on the basis of mutual confidentiality, which is based on transparency.

In order to implement this, the states signed an agreement guaranteeing the correctness, legality and timely updating of the integrated data, as well as the use of this data only for the final measures submitted relevant in the framework of the articles of the signed agreement.

Data stored in the SIS

The data entered in the SIS relates to: wanted persons, with a view to their transfer to law enforcement agencies or extradition to the country from which they came; foreigners for whom a ban on entry to the Schengen countries; missing or wanted people; witnesses who evade contact with law enforcement; the accused; convicts; Persons in respect of whom there is a hidden or special control.

The following person data can be entered in the SIS: surname and name; its special permanent physical characteristics; the first letter of the second name; Date and place of birth; citizenship; information on whether he is armed and whether he can resist arrest; source of information about this person; method that will be applied during his arrest.

SIS cannot contain the following person data: race; political views; creed or other personal data describing beliefs; health and sexual orientation information.

A person can receive information contained in the SIS and relating to him personally, if it does not contradict the current legislation.

Data about a person can be entered into the system of another country covered by the Schengen information system. In this case, the officer in charge of the Central Criminal Police of Estonia must, before issuing this data, get to know the point of view of the central institution responsible for the domestic part of the SIS of the relevant state.

In any case, the refusal to issue data requested by a person must be justified in writing.

It remains to add that the SIS is not a public register.

Only authorized employees have access to SIS data.

Register data can only be used for purposes arising from the Schengen Convention.

The maximum period during which data can be stored in the SIS is ten years.

Any person has the right to request to correct or exclude from the SIS information relating to him, if, in his opinion, they are incorrect or entered in the register illegally.