Headshot of Asia J. Biega

she/her

Contact:
first . last at mpi-sp.org

Name:
How to pronounce Asia

I am a computer scientist and a tenure-track faculty member (W2) at the Max Planck Institute for Security and Privacy (MPI-SP) where I lead the interdisciplinary Responsible Computing group. I am also a principal investigator at the Cluster of Excellence CASA.

I study questions at the intersection of computing & society, particularly in the context of data-driven systems. My team's current research centers around developing, examining and computationally operationalizing principles of responsible computing, data protection & governance, and digital well-being.

I have been recognized with Council of Europe's Rodota Award for innovative research in data protection, SaTML Notable Reviewer Award, GI-DBIS Dissertation Award of the German Informatics Society, and named a 'Trailblazer in AI Safety' by the Zeki Research talent intelligence platform.

I often collaborate with scholars in law, philosophy, and social sciences, draw from my industry experience at Microsoft and Google, and share my expertise with policymakers, data protection authorities, artists, industry, and NGOs. I have served as an external expert for the European Commission and the General Co-Chair of ACM FAccT 2025, the biggest academic conference focusing on the societal impacts of computing. I am also a PI of the interdisciplinary and intersectoral project FINDHR.

Before joining MPI-SP, I was a postdoctoral researcher at Microsoft Research Montréal in the Fairness, Accountability, Transparency, and Ethics in AI (FATE) Group. I completed my PhD in Computer Science at the MPI for Informatics, the MPI for Software Systems, and the Saarbrücken Graduate School of Computer Science. During my PhD, I also spent time in the USA (UMass Amherst) and Switzerland (Google Zurich). I grew up and studied computer science in Poland.

Responsible Computing Group at MPI-SP

I lead the Responsible Computing group at the Max Planck Institute for Security and Privacy (MPI-SP). Our research centers around developing, examining and computationally operationalizing principles of responsible computing, data protection & governance, and digital well-being. We study these themes in particular in the context of data-driven and AI-based systems, covering all their facets (data, algorithms, interfaces, user interactions). We eagerly collaborate across disciplinary boundaries, allowing us not only to make technical contributions in Computer Science, but also to lend our expertise to support research in other fields.


Our current research themes include:
  • Data Protection & Governance, Privacy
  • Technology Governance, Policy, Regulation
  • Digital Well-Being
  • Social Responsibility in Computing

Research in my group is currently funded by the Max Planck Society, Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, and the European Union (Horizon Europe FINDHR).


Group Members

Alumni:
  • Upamanyu Das (research assistant, 2023)
  • Önder Askin (visiting PhD student, RUB, 2023)
  • Kirandeep Kaur (research intern, 2023 -> PhD Student in Computer Science, University of Washington)
  • Sushil Kumar (research assistant, 2022-2023)
  • Niall Docherty (visiting scholar, 2022-2023)
  • Tanusree Sharma (visiting PhD student, UIUC, 2022 -> Assistant Professor, Penn State)
  • Alessandro Fabris (visiting PhD student, University of Padua, 2021-2022 -> postdoc, MPI-SP)
  • Martin Pawelczyk (visiting PhD student, University of Tübingen, 2021-2022 -> postdoc, Harvard University)
  • Aparna Balagopalan (visiting PhD student, University of Toronto / MIT, 2021)
  • Nasim Sonboli (visiting PhD student, University of Colorado, Boulder, 2021 -> postdoc, Brown University)
  • Athina Kyriakou (research intern, 2022 -> PhD student in Computer Science, University of Zurich)
  • Nikhil Prakhash (research intern, 2022 -> PhD student in Computer Science, Northeastern University)
  • Valentina Ferraioli (research intern, 2021-2022 -> PhD student in Learning Sciences, EPFL)

Before joining MPI-SP, I was extremely lucky to work with these amazing folks while at Microsoft Research:
  • Divya Shanmugam (MIT), research internship, 2020
  • Maria Antoniak (Cornell), research internship, 2020
  • Ruohan Li (CMU), remote research project, 2020
  • Jianxiang Li (CMU), remote research project, 2020
While at MPI-INF + MPI-SWS:
  • Tom Sühr (TU Berlin), research internship, 2018-2019
  • Jana Schmidt (Saarland University), BSc thesis, 2018
  • Sedigheh Eslami (Saarland University) MSc thesis, 2016-2017

Publications

[Google Scholar] [DBLP]

  • "I’m not convinced that they don’t collect more than is necessary": User-Controlled Data Minimization Design in Search Engines
    Tanusree Sharma, Lin Kyi, Yang Wang, Asia J. Biega
    (Usenix Security 2024) 33rd Usenix Security Symposium
    [to appear]

  • "It doesn't tell me anything about how my data is used": User Perceptions of Data Collection Purposes
    Lin Kyi, Abraham Mhaidli, Cristiana Santos, Franziska Roesner, Asia J. Biega
    (CHI 2024) The ACM CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems
    [to appear] [preprint]

  • Data Repurposing through Compatibility: A Computational Perspective
    Asia J. Biega
    Special Issue of the Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics on "Machine Learning and the Law", 2024
    [to appear] [preprint]

  • Algorithmically Mediated User Relations: Exploring Data's Relationality in Recommender Systems
    Athina Kyriakou, Oana Inel, Asia Biega, Abraham Bernstein
    (Regulatable ML @ NeurIPS 2023) Regulatable ML Workshop at the Thirty-seventh Annual Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems
    [PDF]

  • The Role of Relevance in Fair Ranking
    Aparna Balagopalan, Abigail Z. Jacobs, Asia J. Biega
    (SIGIR 2023) The 46th International ACM SIGIR Conference on Research and Development in Information Retrieval
    [PDF]

  • On the Trade-Off between Actionable Explanations and the Right to be Forgotten
    Martin Pawelczyk, Tobias Leemann, Asia Biega, and Gjergji Kasneci
    (ICLR 2023) The 11th International Conference on Learning Representations
    [PDF]

  • Investigating Deceptive Design in GDPR’s Legitimate Interest
    Lin Kyi, Sushil Ammanaghatta Shivakumar, Franziska Roesner, Cristiana Santos, Frederike Zufall, and Asia J. Biega
    (CHI 2023) The ACM CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems
    [PDF]
    Council of Europe's 2024 Stefano Rodotà Award

  • Integrative Objects in Sociotechnical Contexts: Constructing Digital Well-Being with Generic Epistemology
    Magdalena Krysztoforska, Niall Docherty, Asia J. Biega
    (CHI 2023) The ACM CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems
    [PDF]

  • Pairwise Fairness in Ranking as a Dissatisfaction Measure
    Alessandro Fabris, Gianmaria Silvello, Gian Antonio Susto, Asia J. Biega
    (WSDM 2023) The 16th ACM International Conference on Web Search and Data Mining
    [PDF]

  • Learning to Limit Data Collection via Scaling Laws: A Computational Interpretation for the Legal Principle of Data Minimization
    Divya Shanmugam, Fernando Diaz, Samira Shabanian, Michèle Finck, Asia J. Biega
    (FAccT 2022) The ACM Conference on Fairness, Accountability, and Transparency
    [PDF]
    • Our proposal to use scaling laws as a tool for data minimization compliance is now an official recommendation in Norwegian Digitalization Agency's Guidelines for the Responsible Use and Development of Artificial Intelligence (in Norwegian). You can find it under: Privacy (Personvern) -> Privacy for those who will develop artificial intelligence (Personvern for deg som skal utvikle kunstig intelligens) -> Guidelines for scaling (Retningslinjer for skalering).

  • (Re)Politicizing Digital Well-Being: Beyond User Engagements
    Niall Docherty, Asia J. Biega
    (CHI 2022) The ACM CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems
    [PDF]

  • Exposing Query Identification for Search Transparency
    Ruohan Li, Jianxiang Li, Bhaskar Mitra, Fernando Diaz, Asia J. Biega
    (WWW 2022) The ACM Web Conference 2022
    [PDF]

  • Reviving Purpose Limitation and Data Minimisation in Data-Driven Systems
    Asia J. Biega, Michèle Finck
    Technology and Regulation, 2021
    [PDF]

  • Estimation of Fair Ranking Metrics with Incomplete Judgments
    Omer Kirnap, Fernando Diaz, Asia J. Biega, Michael D. Ekstrand, Ben Carterette, Emine Yilmaz
    (WWW 2021) The ACM Web Conference 2021
    [PDF]

  • Operationalizing the Legal Principle of Data Minimization for Personalization
    Asia J. Biega, Peter Potash, Hal Daumé III, Fernando Diaz and Michèle Finck
    (SIGIR 2020) The 43rd International ACM SIGIR Conference on Research and Development in Information Retrieval
    [PDF]

  • On the Desiderata for Online Altruism: Nudging for Equitable Donations
    Nuno Mota, Abhijnan Chakraborty, Asia J. Biega, Krishna P. Gummadi, Hoda Heidari
    (CSCW 2020) The 23rd ACM Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing
    [PDF]

  • Evaluating Stochastic Rankings with Expected Exposure
    Fernando Diaz, Bhaskar Mitra, Michael D. Ekstrand, Asia J. Biega, Ben Carterette
    (CIKM 2020) The 29th ACM International Conference on Information and Knowledge Management
    Best Paper Award Nominee
    [PDF]

  • Towards Query Logs for Privacy Studies: On Deriving Search Queries from Questions
    Asia J. Biega, Jana Schmidt, Rishiraj Saha Roy
    (ECIR 2020) The 42nd European Conference on Information Retrieval, short paper
    [PDF] [Extended version]

  • Two-Sided Fairness for Repeated Matchings in Two-Sided Markets: A Case Study of a Ride-Hailing Platform
    Tom Sühr, Asia J. Biega, Meike Zehlike, Krishna P. Gummadi, Abhijnan Chakraborty
    (KDD 2019) The 25th ACM SIGKDD Conference on Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining
    [PDF]

  • On the Impact of Choice Architectures on Inequality in Online Donation Platforms
    Abhijnan Chakraborty, Nuno Mota, Asia J. Biega, Krishna P. Gummadi and Hoda Heidari
    (WWW 2019) The Web Conference 2019, short paper
    [PDF]

  • Enhancing Privacy and Fairness in Search Systems
    Joanna Biega
    (PhD Thesis, 2019) Saarland University
    DBIS Dissertation Award of the German Informatics Society
    [PDF]

  • Equity of Attention: Amortizing Individual Fairness in Rankings
    Asia J. Biega, Krishna P. Gummadi, Gerhard Weikum
    (SIGIR 2018) The 41st International ACM SIGIR Conference on Research and Development in Information Retrieval
    [PDF]

  • Learning to Un-Rank: Quantifying Search Exposure for Users in Online Communities
    Asia J. Biega, Azin Ghazimatin, Hakan Ferhatosmanoglu, Krishna P. Gummadi, Gerhard Weikum
    (CIKM 2017) The 26th ACM International Conference on Information and Knowledge Management
    [PDF]

  • Privacy of Hidden Profiles: Utility-Preserving Profile Removal in Online Forums
    Sedigheh Eslami, Asia J. Biega, Rishiraj Saha Roy, Gerhard Weikum
    (CIKM 2017) The 26th ACM International Conference on Information and Knowledge Management, short paper
    [PDF]

  • Fair Sharing for Sharing Economy Platforms
    Abhijnan Chakraborty, Asia J. Biega, Aniko Hannak, Krishna P. Gummadi
    (FATREC@RECSYS 2017) The FATREC Workshop on Responsible Recommendation
    [PDF]

  • Privacy through Solidarity: A User-Utility-Preserving Framework to Counter Profiling
    Asia J. Biega, Rishiraj Saha Roy, Gerhard Weikum
    (SIGIR 2017) The 40th International ACM SIGIR Conference on Research and Development in Information Retrieval
    [PDF]

  • R-Susceptibility: An IR-Centric Approach to Assessing Privacy Risks for Users in Online Communities
    Joanna Asia Biega, Krishna P. Gummadi, Ida Mele, Dragan Milchevski, Christos Tryfonopoulos, Gerhard Weikum
    (SIGIR 2016) The 39th International ACM SIGIR Conference on Research and Development in Information Retrieval
    [PDF]

  • YAGO: A Multilingual Knowledge Base from Wikipedia, Wordnet, and Geonames
    Thomas Rebele, Fabian M. Suchanek, Johannes Hoffart, Joanna Asia Biega, Erdal Kuzey, Gerhard Weikum
    (ISWC 2016) The 15th International Semantic Web Conference, short paper
    [PDF]

  • IBEX: Harvesting Entities from the Web Using Unique Identifiers
    Aliaksandr Tailaika, Joanna Biega, Antoine Amarilli, Fabian M. Suchanek
    (WebDB@SIGMOD 2015) The 18th International Workshop on the Web and Databases
    [PDF] [Technical report]

  • YAGO3: A Knowledge Base from Multilingual Wikipedias
    Farzaneh Mahdisoltani, Joanna Biega, Fabian M. Suchanek
    (CIDR 2015) The 7th Biennial Conference on Innovative Data Systems Research
    [PDF]

  • Probabilistic Prediction of Privacy Risks in User Search Histories
    Joanna Biega, Ida Mele, Gerhard Weikum
    (PSBD@CIKM 2014) The 1st International Workshop on Privacy and Security of Big Data
    [PDF]

  • Mining History with Le Monde
    Thomas Huet, Joanna Biega, Fabian M. Suchanek
    (AKBC@CIKM 2013) The 3rd Workshop on Automated Knowledge Base Construction
    [PDF]

  • Inside YAGO2s: A Transparent Information Extraction Architecture
    Joanna Biega, Erdal Kuzey, Fabian M. Suchanek
    (WWW 2013 - demo) The 22nd International World Wide Web Conference
    [PDF] [prezi]

Reports and Opinion Pieces

  • Responsible Computing During COVID-19 and Beyond
    Solon Barocas, Asia J. Biega, Margarita Boyarskaya, Kate Crawford et al.
    (Communications of the ACM) July 2021, Vol. 64 No. 7, Pages 30-32
    [article]

  • Overview of the TREC 2020 Fair Ranking Track
    Asia J. Biega, Fernando Diaz, Michael D. Ekstrand, Sergey Feldman, Sebastian Kohlmeier
    (TREC 2020) The 29th Text REtrieval Conference Proceedings
    [PDF]

  • Overview of the TREC 2019 Fair Ranking Track
    Asia J. Biega, Fernando Diaz, Michael D. Ekstrand, Sebastian Kohlmeier
    (TREC 2019) The 28th Text REtrieval Conference Proceedings
    [PDF]

  • FACTS-IR: Fairness, Accountability, Confidentiality, Transparency, and Safety in Information Retrieval
    Alexandra Olteanu, Jean Garcia-Gathright, Maarten de Rijke, Michael D. Ekstrand et al.
    (SIGIR Forum) December 2019, Volume 53 Number 2, pp 20–43
    [PDF]

  • Report on the First HIPstIR Workshop on the Future of Information Retrieval
    Laura Dietz, Bhaskar Mitra, Jeremy Pickens, Hana Anber et al.
    (SIGIR Forum) December 2019, Vol. 53 No. 2, Pages 62–75
    [PDF]

Selected invited talks, panels, events



Academic Service

PC Chairing:
  • SIGIR 2022 Demonstration Papers Track
  • ECIR 2022 Doctoral Consortium
Award Committee:
  • ECIR 2022 Test of Time Award
  • SIGIR 2021 Best Paper Awards
  • ECIR 2020 Best Paper Awards (Industry Impact Award)
Area Chair / Senior Program Committee:
  • FAccT 2024: ACM Conference on Fairness, Accountability, and Transparency
  • SIGIR 2020–2021,2023–2024: ACM SIGIR Conference on Research and Development in Information Retrieval
  • WWW 2023: ACM Web Conference (Fairness, Accountability, Transparency and Ethics on the Web Track)
Program Committee:
  • I regularly serve on the PCs of conferences in the areas of Information Retrieval/Web/Data Mining/Machine Learning/AI (including SIGIR, KDD, WSDM, AAAI, SDM, CIKM), as well as Computing & Society (including FAccT, EAAMO).
Organization:

Teaching


Outreach: Policy, Media, Art

  • In 2023-2024, I've been serving as an invited expert for the European Commission, offering insights on the technical implementation of Art. 40 of the Digital Services Act on access to big platform data to external researchers.
  • In 2020, I participated in the expert roundtable on the governance of facial recognition technology in Canada. Here's the summary report.


  • Collaboration with artist Marco Barotti on digital well-being for his kinetic sound sculpture APES. This work was part of his Art-Science Residency at the CASA Cluster of Excellence. As a follow-up to the collaboration, I gave a public lecture at Barotti's solo exhibition Rituals of Wasted Technology.

Private

Art: Music
  • Here's a piece from 'Balnicki Księżyc', an album we recorded with Matragona.

  • Here are some more recent gigs and recordings.

Art: Other