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|Personal Data in the Schengen Information System
Schengen Agreement Area
The Schengen Agreement Area represents a territory in which the possibility and right of free movement of persons is guaranteed and where the Schengen Member States have abolished all internal borders in lieu of a single external border. Implementing Schengen rules involves eliminating internal border controls with other Schengen Member States, while simultaneously strengthening external border controls with non-member states. Schengen cooperation aims to protect people and their property by reducing opportunities for this right to be abused. In order to ensure information exchange, a special information system has been established, the Schengen Information System (SIS), and within this system there is intensive and effective cooperation between Schengen Area countries, ensured through the cooperation of police, customs, external border control and judicial authorities, which has all been necessary in order to eliminate the internal borders.
The Schengen Information System
The Schengen Information System was established according to legal acts of the European Union in order to strengthen public order and security in the territory of the Member States, ensuring access to alerts for the competent institutions and authorities of the Member States. The SIS is the largest shared database on maintaining public security, supporting police and judicial cooperation, and managing external border control in Europe. Participating states provide entries in the SIS (called “alerts”) on wanted and missing persons, lost and stolen property, and entry bans. It is immediately and directly accessible to all authorized police officers and other law enforcement officials and authorities who need the information to carry out their roles in protecting law and order and fighting crime. It covers most of the European Union, as well as Norway, Iceland and Switzerland.
In Latvia, the Law on Operation of the Schengen Information System determines the procedure for maintenance and use of this system. The Information Centre of the Ministry of the Interior performs the controlling entity functions in relation to Latvia’s section of the SIS. Additionally, the SIRENE information system has been established, which processes supplementary information and alerts. Only the SIRENE Latvia Bureau, a unit of the State Police, has access to this system. SIRENE stands for Supplementary Information Request at the National Entry, and outlines the main task of the “SIRENE Bureau” established in all Schengen States, which is the exchange of additional or supplementary information on alerts between the states. SIRENE Bureaus provide supplementary information on alerts and coordinate measures in relation to alerts in the SIS, ensuring that appropriate action is taken if a wanted person is arrested, a person who has been refused entry to the Schengen area tries to re-enter, a missing person is found, a stolen car or ID document is seized, etc.
Additional information regarding the SIS is available at the State Police website: www.vp.gov.lv.
Rights of access to personal data, and their rectification or deletion
Any individual has the right to receive information regarding his or her personal data in the SIS or SIRENE information system, as well as information regarding recipients of his or her personal data, if its disclosure is not prohibited by a law within the field of national safety, protection and criminal law, as well as if restrictions for issuing data have not been determined by another Member State. In order to receive this information, individuals must submit a written application to the State Police or the corresponding diplomatic or consular representation of the Republic of Latvia.
The application should contain the following information:
The application can be submitted in Latvian, English and Russian.
Address of the State Police:
Ciekurkalna 1.linija 1, k-4
Information regarding diplomatic and consular representation for the Republic of Latvia is available at the website of the Ministry of Interior of the Republic of Latvia: http://www.mfa.gov.lv/en/mission/.
The data subject, by submitting an application, shall confirm his or her identity by providing a personal identification document. An authorized person shall present a notary-certified power of attorney that gives the right to receive information regarding the data subject or shall present a document that confirms the rights of parents, adopters, guardians or trustees. If the application is submitted electronically, the identity of the data subject shall be confirmed by secure electronic signature.
A sample application form is available at the website of Data State Inspectorate of Latvia: http://www.dvi.gov.lv/eng/pdp/.
The SIRENE Latvia Bureau shall examine the application and, within a time period of one month after the receipt thereof, shall provide the requested information or shall refuse to provide the information by sending a letter to the indicated address or issuing it upon signature. If the data subject has indicated a wish to receive the answer in person by appearing at the State Police institution or mission, the SIRENE Latvia Bureau shall send the requested information to the relevant State Police institution or mission.
The requested information can be withheld if some of the necessary information has not been submitted, if it is inaccurate and therefore hinders identification of the data subject, as well as in cases when the requested information cannot be provided in accordance with national legislation in the fields of national security, protection and criminal law, or in cases when another Member State has determined such restrictions. Additionally, the individual has the right to request rectification and deletion of his/her data if his/ her personal data are inaccurate. In case the requested information is withheld from the data subject or an authorized person, or there is a refusal to delete or to rectify personal data, the data subject or authorized person has the right to submit a request/complaint to the Data State Inspectorate regarding the necessity to examine whether the rights of the data subject have been ensured. Requests and complaints can be sent to Data State Inspectorate in Latvian, English and Russian.
The address of the Data State Inspectorate
Blaumana Street 11/13–15
Additional information regarding the individual’s rights in the Schengen Information System is available at: http://schengen.consilium.europa.eu/.
Useful information regarding the SIS:
A Guide for Exercising the Right of Access to the Schengen Information System
The Joint Supervisory Authority of Schengen has elaborated a guide for data subjects regarding their right of access to their personal data in the Schengen Information System.
This guide is intended to assist data subjects in exercising their right of access, and is meant to be a source of practical information regarding the institutions where the individual can receive professional consultations regarding the implementation of his/her rights, such as information on all the Member State data protection authorities, police and other institutions related to migration issues. The text of this guide is available in English here
Sample application to the State Police - download
Sample application to Data State Inspectorate - download
Informational brochure on personal data in the Schengen Information System - download
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Riga, Blaumana 11/13 - 15, LV-1011, Latvia | Phone 67223131, fax 67223556, firstname.lastname@example.org