Ad watchdog replaces information commissioner

Christopher Graham, the head of the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), is tipped to be the next Information Commissioner.

The current Information Commissioner, Richard Thomas, will retire from his role on 30 June 2009.

While Graham has been chosen by the Ministry of Justice to head up the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO), which enforces the data protection act, a parliamentary committee must still approve the appointment.

Graham has been director general of the ASA since 2000 and has previously referred to it as "one of the best jobs in the world".

He added in a statement: "The Information Commissioner is so much at the centre of debates on information security, privacy, better government and the right to know that I am keen to take on this new challenge."

And the role is definitely a challenge. As commissioner, Thomas has repeatedly called for stronger powers for the ICO to check up on data control at government agencies, especially following data breach debacles such as the HMRC data breach in 2007.