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The Schengen Information System (SIS) is an EU-wide
system for the collection and exchange of information relating
to immigration, policing and criminal law, for the purposes of
law enforcement and immigration control. The System raises fundamental
questions concerning the balance between, on the one hand, the
operational effectiveness of immigration control and public security
by law enforcement authorities, and on the other hand the protection
of civil liberties. It is against this potential conflict that
the Committee has examined the working of the SIS, and its planned
development into a second-generation system, known as SIS II.
We have looked at SIS II with the aim of assessing whether
the proposed system is efficient, transparent, accountable and
The United Kingdom is not one of the full Schengen
States, because it maintains its border controls with other Member
States. It will therefore be denied access to immigration data
on SIS II, although it will have access to other data for
the purposes of police and criminal cooperation.
SIS II will store an enormous volume of sensitive
personal data. The processing and protection of such data will
be governed by many different legislative instruments, often conflicting.
We consider how the provisions should be made clear and unambiguous,
and whether the United Kingdom should have access to all the data.
We have also looked at the delay in setting up SIS II,
and the consequences this will have for the United Kingdom and
for other Member States.