Microsoft and Unisys take the SIS

Pair win Euro data sharing deal...
Written by Jo Best, Contributor

Pair win Euro data sharing deal...

Microsoft and Unisys have secured a deal to build a tech platform for the implementation of the second generation of the Schengen Information System (SIS) and Visa Information System (VIS), which will allow law enforcement agencies within the European Union to share data.

The platform will connect up individual systems from the 27 countries who have signed up to the Schengen agreement, to the central SIS and VIS system hosted by the EU itself. The system currently connects 13 EU member states, plus Iceland and Norway.

Unisys will act as advisor on the implementation of the national systems and has recommended Microsoft to supply the software. No financial details for the deal were disclosed.

The Schengen Information System first went live in 15 countries in 1995 and was designed to help individuals travel more freely within the EU and enable law enforcement authorities to track criminals and illegal immigrants attempting to cross borders.

The SIS II has already attracted controversy for its wide-reaching remit. There has also been speculation that biometrics will be used as a unique identifier to track European citizens.

The European Data Protection Supervisor has already raised concerns about such a measure, saying in a recent communication: "The accuracy of biometrics is overestimated in this respect and it will facilitate unwarranted interconnection of databases."

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