Great Britain made illegal copies of data in Schengen Information System

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The UK authorities have made unauthorised copies of data stored in a European database to track undocumented migrants, missing persons, stolen cars and suspected criminals.

It concerns data from the Schengen Information System (SIS), writes ZDNet. This is a European Union database containing information such as the names, personal details, photographs, fingerprints and arrest warrants of 500,000 non-European citizens who have been refused entry to Europe, 100,000 missing persons and over 36,000 criminal suspects.

The database was set up to help European countries manage access to the Schengen area. Britain also gained access to the database in 2015, even though it is not an official member of the Schengen area.

Report

The EU Observer discovered last year that Great Britain did not comply with the rules on the use of the database. In May 2018, media journalists received a secret EU report highlighting years of violations.

According to that report, authorities made copies of the database and stored it in unsafe ways at airports and ports. Moreover, since Great Britain made copies, they always worked with outdated versions of the database. If someone was removed from or added to SIS, the authorities did not know.

In addition, the authorities wrongly gave access to the sensitive and secret data to third parties working for them. These included American companies such as IBM. As a result, the companies could also copy the data. US authorities could also request the data from a contractor via the US Patriot Act.

Existing report confirmed

The news from the EU Observer has never been confirmed before. However, EU officials commented earlier this week admitting that the report exists and is accurate.

Julian King, European Commissioner for Security, answered a question about the report with, for example: These were secret talks that we have with the individual Member States.

It is not the case that only one Member State has challenges in this area, but there are a number of Member States with challenges in this area.

Public report

Dutch MEP Sophie in t Veld has now asked the European Commission to make the report public. The Commission should also clarify the actual extent of the abuse and mismanagement of Great Britain.

This news article was automatically translated from Dutch to give Techzine.eu a head start. All news articles after September 1, 2019 are written in native English and NOT translated. All our background stories are written in native English as well. For more information read our launch article.