The Integrated Police processes citizens’ data by means of the Schengen Information System (SIS), a European database for entering alerts on entities.
What is the SIS?
The SIS is a database in which the Schengen countries (22 EU Member States and the Schengen associated countries Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland), as well as three EU Member States that are not part of the Schengen Area (Bulgaria, Croatia and Romania) enter alerts on persons and objects.
Until the end of 2020, in the context of the Brexit transition period, the United Kingdom will have access to the SIS, although the country is no longer officially an EU Member State and no longer part of the Schengen Area.
The purpose of the SIS is to ensure a high level of security within the area of freedom, security and justice of the European Union, including the maintenance of public security and public policy and the safeguarding of security in the territories of the Member States.
The legal basis of the SIS consists of three different EU instruments:
Council Decision 2007/533/JHA of 12 June 2007 on the establishment, operation and use of the second generation Schengen Information System (SIS II);
Regulation (EC) No 1987/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 December 2006 on the establishment, operation and use of the second generation Schengen Information System (SIS II);
Regulation (EC) No 1986/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 December 2006 regarding access to the second generation Schengen Information System (SIS II) by the services in the Member States responsible for issuing vehicle registration certificates.
What entities can be entered in the SIS?
An alert is an entry of a person or object in the database with a view to action being taken against that person or object by the other countries having access to the SIS. Hence the SIS contains:
identification data of the person or object concerned in order to be able to identify them during a check;
data of the measure to be taken against that person or object.
All persons can potentially be entered in the SIS, without distinction of nationality, i.e. citizens of participating countries as well as citizens of other countries and stateless persons.
The objects that can be entered in the SIS are:
- stolen, misappropriated or lost blank official documents
- stolen, misappropriated, lost or invalidated identity documents, such as passports, identity cards, driving licences, residence permits and travel documents
- stolen, misappropriated, lost or invalidated vehicle registration certificates and number plates
- registered banknotes
- stolen, misappropriated, lost or invalidated securities and means of payment, such as cheques, credit cards, bonds, stocks and shares
What measures can be taken in relation to the entities entered in the SIS?
The following measures can be taken against persons on the basis of an alert:
- arrest with a view to surrender or extradition
- specific check
- discreet check
- location of persons sought for a judicial procedure
- refusal of entry or stay in the territory of the Schengen countries (only for third-country nationals)
- location or detention (including repatriation and/or taking protection measures) of missing or abducted persons
The following measures can be taken against objects on the basis of an alert:
- specific check
- discreet check
What rights do I have with regard to my data in the SIS?
Every citizen has the right to have access to the data entered in the SIS concerning him or her.
In addition, every citizen has the right to have data concerning him or her in the SIS rectified if they are incorrect, or to have data deleted if they were unlawfully entered in the SIS.
How do I exercise my rights with regard to my data in the SIS?
If your request relates to an alert for refusal of entry or stay in the territory of the Schengen countries, you should directly address the authority that issued the refusal of entry or stay in the territory of the Schengen countries. You can exercise your rights directly with this authority.
If your request concerns another type of alert, you cannot directly apply to the Federal Police or a local police zone. In this case, you can only exercise your rights indirectly via the Supervisory Body for Police Information (COC). This independent body is responsible for monitoring police information management and will check for you whether your data have been entered in the SIS, whether they are correct and whether they have been processed lawfully. If the Supervisory Body finds that your data have been unlawfully entered in the SIS, it will order the police services to delete them, and if it finds that incorrect data about you have been entered in the SIS, it will order the police services to correct them.
Please note that the Supervisory Board will only communicate that the necessary checks have been carried out, and not whether data about you were entered in the SIS, whether this was lawful, and whether these data were correct!
You can go to the website www.controleorgaan.be/nl/burgers/onrechtstreekse-toegang-aanvragen, where you will find a form to exercise your rights. Please mention clearly that it concerns your personal data that may have been entered into the SIS.