Christopher Graham reappointed as Information Commissioner

By Danny Palmer
19 Feb 2014 View Comments
ICO's Christopher Graham

The Ministry of Justice has appointed Christopher Graham as Information Commissioner for a further two years.

Graham's five-year contract with the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) was due to expire on 29 June 2014, but he will now continue in the role until 2016.

Further reading

The extension will take his tenure to seven years, and Graham expressed his pleasure at being reappointed.

"I am delighted to have been asked to stay on as Commissioner at this key moment for information rights. I don't underestimate the challenge of leading the ICO at this time. Like any public body we're having to do more for less," he said.

"But unlike any other public body that I know, it falls to the ICO to champion both the right to privacy and the right to know for citizens and consumers - here in the UK, in Europe, and internationally. It's a big responsibility and the next phase certainly won't be dull."

The ICO is tasked with three roles: upholding information rights in the public interest; promoting openness by public bodies; and data privacy for individuals.

The organisation also has powers to levy financial penalties against organisations that have lost data or are seen to be operating poor data protection policies. Over £4m has been issued in fines to public sector bodies including councils and NHS trusts.

Private sector firms can also be fined by the ICO. Last year, the organisation fined Sony a record £250,000 as punishment for the PlayStation Network hack in April 2011.

The ICO has been able to issue data breach fines of up to £500,000 since late 2010. Graham was the first Commissioner in the organisation's history to have that power.

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