The creation of the Schengen Information System (SIS) represents one of the main measures to compensate the abolition of border control at internal borders. SIS is a database shared by countries which are part of the Schengen Area, enabling national authorities responsible for the border control, immigration, law enforcement and issuance of visas of those States to have access to information on people (unauthorized to entry and / or stay within the Schengen area, subject to an arrest warrant, missing, required to appear before a judiciary authority, or under discreet or specific surveillance, among others) and objects (blank or already issued documents, vehicles, registration plates, weapons, bank notes, among others). SIS is a crucial element for the proper functioning of the area of Freedom, Security and Justice.
The work made in the creation of a new and more advanced version of the system, known as the Second Generation SIS (SIS II), a project of the highest technical complexity, has been developed since 2001. SIS II presents enhanced features in relation to SIS I + (a version of the SIS I initial database), such as new types of alerts, the possibility of using biometric data, linked between different alerts (for example a person and a vehicle), direct searches on the system, and, furthermore, the reinforcement of data protection.
With its entry into operation on 9 April 2013, SIS II has become one of the largest European IT systems in this field, and one must highlight the contribution of Portugal throughout the whole process. Therefore, SIS II will follow its crucial mission as a compensation measure for the abolition of border controls at internal borders and as a facilitator of the free movement within the Schengen Area.
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