The Schengen Information System, also referred to as "SIS" (SIS)
The Schengen Information System, also referred to as the "SIS" (SIS), is a government database system for security used by some European countries to support and disseminate information related to border security and the application of legal measures.
The data to be collected are certain classes of civilians and their properties.
This information is distributed among the countries-participants of 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.
At the moment, 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 Great Britain, which did not sign the Schengen Agreement, they take part in the Schengen cooperation under the Amsterdam Treaty, which introduced the Schengen acquis in the European Union (it allows the UK 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 mainly use SIS to apply legal measures.
They will not use these articles 96, because they are not going to implement the policy of free movement of civilians at the European level.
In SIS information is stored in accordance with the laws of each country.
It contains more than 15 million records containing the following information:
- Special signs.
- The first letter of the second name.
- Date of Birth.
- Place of Birth.
- Any aliases 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 anxiety.
- The action that should be taken (in relation to the person).
- Lost, stolen or illegally appropriated firearms.
- Lost, stolen or misappropriated identification documents.
- Lost, stolen or misappropriated clean identification documents.
- Lost, stolen or illegally appropriated motor transport.
- Lost, stolen or illegally appropriated banknotes.
The second technical version of the system (SIS II) is under development in order to include new types of data and to unify the new Member States of the Union.
The system could be opened with a large number of institutions, for example, civil authorities, Europol and security services.
Personal data could be read on one personal assistant device (this is a futuristic point of view, but this type of performance remains under the responsibility and technical capabilities of each Member State) across Europe, the police and customs during identity checks.
Some would like to benefit from these technical changes in order to turn this system into an investigation system, but a large number of Member States want this system to remain a police inspection system, leaving Europol with this role in the investigation.
Legal aspects and technical characteristics
Since March 25, 2001, fifteen states have adopted the Schengen agreement and withdrawn police control on their internal borders.
Compensatory 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 signatory states: the Schengen Information System (SIS).
With regard to police cooperation, this system is an innovator, both technically and legally.
First of all, legally , the recognition of the legal force 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 protection of personal data.
Technically, it is a complete creation of an information processing system permanently connected with extremely different, diverse national applications, and having to update the national databases in real time. Separation of personal data with delegation of authority, with regard to the application of actions, can only be done on the basis of mutual confidentiality, which is based on transparency.
In order to do 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 presented within the framework of the articles of the signed agreement.
Data stored in SIS
The information entered into the SIS refers to: persons being wanted, with a view to their transfer to law enforcement agencies or extradition to the country from which they arrived; Foreigners for whom a ban on entry into the countries of the Schengen zone is established; Missing or wanted people; Witnesses who evade contacts with law enforcement agencies; The accused; Convicts; Persons in respect of which there is a hidden or special control.
In SIS, the following person data can be entered: surname and name; Its special constant 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 when detained; Source of information about this person; A method that will be applied when he is detained.
SIS can not contain the following person's data: race; political views; Religion or other personal data describing beliefs; Information about the state of health and sexual orientation.
A person can obtain information contained in the SIS and relating to him personally, if it does not contradict the current legislation.
Data on a person can be entered in the system of another country to which the Schengen Information System is distributed. In this case, the responsible officer of the Central Criminal Police of Estonia must, before issuing this information, obtain the opinion of the central institution responsible for the internal part of the SIS of the respective state.
In any case, the refusal to issue data requested by a person must be justified in writing.
It remains to add that SIS is not a public register.
Only authorized employees have access to SIS data.
The register data can be used only for purposes arising from the Schengen Convention.
The maximum period during which the data can be stored in the SIS is ten years.
Any person has the right to request the correction or exclusion from the SIS of his data if, in his opinion, they are incorrect or entered in the register illegally.