The Schengen Information System

The Schengen Area, which Iceland has been a part of since 2001, is an area without inner borders. It consists of 26 European countries, i.e. Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxemburg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.

These countries have common external borders. As Schengen Member States, they carry out border control for those entering them from outside of the Schengen Area. However, such control is usually not applicable to these entering one of those countries from another Schengen Member State.

In order to enhance control of the common external borders, as well as law enforcement cooperation between the Member States, a common information system has been operated since 1995, i.e. the Schengen Information System (SIS). In May 2013, an updated version of the system (SIS II) was taken into use.

More precisely, the purpose of the system is to ensure a high level of security within the Schengen States in absence of internal border checks, by allowing law enforcement authorities to enter and consult information, so-called alerts, on persons and objects. For this aim, information on wanted and missing persons, persons under police surveillance, persons who are banned from entry into the Schengen Area, as well as information on stolen or missing vehicles and objects such as, in particular, identity papers, vehicle registration certificates and vehicle number plates, are entered into the system.

Individuals have the right to be informed about processing of their personal data in SIS II unless certain exceptions apply, notably on the grounds of national security, defence, public security and the prevention, investigation, detection and prosecution of criminal offences. Furthermore, any person may bring an action before the courts or the authority competent under the law of any Member State (in Iceland, this is the Data Protection Authority) to access, correct, delete or obtain information or to obtain compensation in connection with an alert relating to him.

The National Commissioner of the Icelandic Police (NCIP) is responsible for the processing of personal data in SIS II on the part of Iceland. Individuals, who wish to send the International Unit of the NCIP an access request, can contact it in the following e-mail address: international[at]police.is

If an access request is denied or not answered, the individual in question can file a complaint with the Data Protection Authority. A complaint can be sent to the following e-mail address: postur[at]personuvernd.is

Further information on SIS II.

The Guide for exercising the right of access adopted by the SIS II Supervision Coordination Group



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